Dr. Jill Biden: A Mother's Gratitude on Veterans Day

Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden With Troops

(Dr. Biden and Vice President Biden greet soldiers from the Delaware Army National Guard 261st Signal Brigade at their homecoming in September. Official White House Photo by David Lienemann) (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

Like military moms across the country, Dr. Jill Biden looked for small ways to send the comforts of home to son Beau during his deployment: she and Vice President Biden sent him a Christmas stocking stuffed with candy and playing cards; she baked him his favorite brownies for his birthday; she helped him keep up with children Natalie and Hunter by mailing artwork and photos of soccer games. This Veterans Day, with Beau safely home after almost a year in Iraq, Dr. Biden expresses her gratitude for the sacrifices of all military families in an essay published today in USA WEEKEND Magazine, and shares how she plans to honor the men and women who risk their lives for our country:

It helps that families such as ours realize we're never alone, as I've seen this year how powerful the support of the community can be: A local restaurant provides pizzas at a welcome-home event; a minor-league baseball team, the Wilmington Blue Rocks, dedicates a game night in support of our troops; one of our schools adopts a military unit. Then, there's an organization I've worked with in the past few years called Delaware Boots on the Ground. It started as a group of military moms and spouses who came together to support our Delaware National Guard members and their families. "Boots" now performs simple acts of service for deployed soldiers and their families, like supporting summer camps for children who have a deployed parent. There are just so many ways that each American can lend a hand and make a difference.

Beau came home safely Sept. 25, after almost a year in Iraq. My family feels so blessed.

Joe and I plan to visit Arlington National Cemetery this Veterans Day and spend time with veterans and soldiers to show our thanks. On Veterans Day and every day, it's our duty to show appreciation for their service and remember that each of us has the ability to make a difference in the life of a service member. Even though Beau's deployment is complete, I still consider myself a member of the military family. I always will.

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