Giving Thanks: Honoring Our Wounded Warriors & Their Families

Giving Thanks: Honoring Our Wounded Warriors & Their Families

Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden bow their heads as Chaplain Barry Black gives the benediction during the fifth annual wounded warrior Thanksgiving dinner, at the Naval Observatory Residence, November 21, 2013. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

Last night, Joe and I had the tremendous honor of hosting our fifth annual early Thanksgiving dinner for 13 Wounded Warriors and their families at our home.

We were also pleased to be joined by U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry Black, a retired Navy Admiral, and Joining Forces’ Executive Director, Col. Rich Morales.

As Joe said, there is no “more prestigious, honorable group of women and men” than those who join us for this annual event.

As a military family – with a son who deployed to Iraq for a year and another who is an ensign in the Navy – we understand the incredible sacrifices all military families make. And the holidays can be a particularly difficult time for military families, as family members miss a loved one’s presence at the Thanksgiving table or on Christmas morning.

The sacrifice made by military families was noted by Joe, who quoted English poet John Milton: “They also serve who only stand and wait.”

Addressing the family members of the Wounded Warriors, Joe said, “Thank you. You served every single solitary minute when your daughter, your son, your husband, your wife, was in harm’s way.”

In closing, Joe said that only one percent of our population has fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the other 99 percent of Americans owed them a sacred obligation. “I want you to know," he said, "that your country, your Congress, your President, your Vice President, we will not forget – ever forget – what you’ve done.”

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