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“Thank You”: Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden to Our Service Members in Naples, Italy

Summary: 
Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden visit with troops and their families at a U.S. Naval Support Activity base in Naples, Italy.

Yesterday, my husband and I were honored to visit with some of our service members and their families at the Navy’s Capodichino base in Naples, Italy. I was proud to be there as Second Lady of the United States, but I was even more proud to be there as a military mom.

We were there for a simple reason, and that was to say thank you.

Dr. Jill Biden poses for a photo at the Naval Support Activity Naples

Dr. Jill Biden poses for a photo while greeting sailors and other branch service members at the Naval Support Activity Naples, in Naples, Italy June 4, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

On a daily basis, each of these men and women show us what words like service, strength, and sacrifice really mean. Our military families serving in the United States and around the world are truly inspiring, and they need to know that everyone at home appreciates all that they do for our nation.

The First Lady and I are working hard through our Joining Forces initiative to make sure that every American understands the sacrifices that our service members and their families are making for the security of this nation. And we’re encouraging all Americans to find ways to give back in any way they can.

Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden speak to and greet sailors and other branch service members

Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden speak to and greet sailors and other branch service members at the Naval Support Activity, in Naples, Italy June 4, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Ed. Note: Dr. Jill Biden introduced her husband -- a proud military dad and our Vice President. Here's an excerpt from his remarks to the troops:

When you are deployed and you are here, and when you’re in combat -- I know many of you have served in many other theaters, as well -- your husbands or your wives, your mothers or your fathers do exactly what I watched my wife do every single morning when our son was deployed in Iraq for a year.  I’d see her standing there making coffee at the sink, and her lips moving saying a little prayer, the same prayer she said every morning.  It was essentially:  God protect my son.  God protect my daughter.  Please bring back my father.  Please bring back my mother.

Ladies and gentlemen, there’s a poet named John Milton, a famous poet, as you all know, who once wrote:  “They also serve who only stand and wait.”  Every one of those families, every one of your families is serving, and we owe them -- we owe them a debt of gratitude.

A significant portion of those who are deployed and those who’ve been injured and those who’ve been lost don't live on military bases.  They have no support system.  They live in a neighborhood with hundreds of other people, and everything is just fine.  Their life is going on normally, but every morning, dad’s not there to help get the kids off to school.  Dad’s not there -- or mom’s not there to be at the school parent-teacher’s meeting.  Dad or mom is not there for the soccer game or the football game.  Dad’s not there when his wife’s mother passes away, or when the baby is born, and so, folks, what Jill and Michelle are doing is saying to all of America that everyone -- although only 1 percent is deployed -- 100 percent of our population has an obligation -- has an obligation to recognize what’s being done.