Vice President Biden Wipes Away Tears as He Thanks US Troops in Iraq for Service, Sacrifice

By Eliza

Jan 13, 2011 10:41am

ABC News’ Karen Travers reports: Speaking to US troops at Al Faw Palace in Baghdad today, Vice President Biden grew emotional, wiping tears from his eyes and his face, as he talked about wounded servicemembers and the sacrifices that so many have made. Describing how he and his wife, Jill, spend Christmas visiting patients at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Biden wiped a tear away from his eye as he said that he is always struck by the same question that so many wounded veterans ask him. “Almost without exception the only request that I get is ‘Mr Vice President, can you help me get back to my unit?’” he said. Biden again wiped his face as he explained how he wished the world could see what he does – “young women and men, not so young sometimes, who don’t ask a thing for all that they’ve done and you wonder how in god’s name can they do this?” Biden often speaks in very personal terms about the men and women serving in the military – his son Beau spent a year deployed to Iraq with the Delaware Army National Guard’s 261st Signal Brigade. The vice president later apologized for keeping the troops waiting – he was late to deliver the remarks. He said that he did not plan on getting emotional, but would not apologize for the “intensity” of the feelings that he shares with so many Americans for the sacrifices the men and women of the military are making on behalf of their country. “We owe you – we owe you more than we can ever repay you,” Biden said. “But the amazing thing to me is how after all that you’ve done, so few of you expect anything, even thanks.” This was Biden’s seventh trip to Iraq as vice president and he noted that he has been there more than 17 times total. He came to Baghdad this week to meet with Iraqi political leaders in the Green Zone Biden said earlier this morning that he was in Baghdad to “help the Iraqis celebrate the progress they made.” “They formed a government. And that’s a good thing. They have a long way to go,” he said of the coalition government that came together in December, after nine months of difficult negotiations.

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