West Bay, Hangar 741
Fort Bragg, North Carolina

6:05 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  I’m Jill Biden’s husband, Joe Biden, as you can see.  I continue to follow her.

I just want you to know: When we first were elected Vice President, there was a moment where on — her favorite day of the year is Valentine’s Day, Doc.  And on Valentine’s Day — there is the Old Executive Office Building; it’s directly across from the White House and the Vice — the West Wing and the Vice President’s Office.  And you can look in the windows there, and the press comes down those stairs all the time. 

And so, she went and got a ladder.  My schoolteacher wife, my professor — got a ladder.  And the windows are 16-feet high with all these panes.  And at every pane, she put a — she got that stuff you use — the kids use when they’re making posters in school, and she put on a heart.  And it said, “Joe loves Jill.”  She did it on all five windows — four windows across.

So, the press called and said — would I do Valentine’s Day with the — on ABC.  And I said, “Okay.” 

And I got on, and we’re getting ready to do the event.  And what happened was — they had the lights out, and we were knee to knee with the reporter who was asking the questions.  And at the (inaudible), she says — while we’re getting ready, she said, “Everybody says you and your wife have a great love affair going.”  I said, “I think so.” 

And she looked at me.  I said — jokingly, said, “But everybody knows that I love her more than she loves me.” 

And I swear to God, she looked at me and said, “That’s what everybody says.”

So, you know, they also serve who only “stand and wait.”  Folks, I want to thank not only you warriors, I want to thank your families because they “stand and wait.”  And I know how hard it is to have someone who is not at the table on a holiday — that are in harm’s way, that find themselves out of the country.  And — because that’s what every time my — our son was in Iraq for a year and, before that, in Kosovo. 

And you do so much, and your families give so much.  I really mean it, from the bottom of my heart.

And you’re the finest — you’re the finest military that the world has ever seen.  That’s not hyperbole.  You literally are.  You’re the finest the world has ever seen.  And I’m so damn proud to be associated with you. 

And it’s hard for me to even say it, but I’m — the thing that’s amazing to me is how proud I am to be your Commander-in-Chief.  You are the most incredible group of women and men — warriors — that we’ve ever seen.

And so, I just — we came because we wanted to thank you and tell you how much we care.  And we wanted you to hear the engine of Air Force One, so you couldn’t hear anything.  But — (laughter) — that was the main reason we did that. 

But all kidding aside — thank you, thank you, thank you for all that you do.  You’re the very best.  (Applause.)  You really are.  You are the very, very best.  We owe you big.  Thank you.  (Applause.) 

Now where am I supposed to go?  I’m supposed to go back and — see how she points?  Look at this: “Get back here.”  You can tell she’s a professor, can’t you?  Well, I’m heading back, Jill.  I promise.  I’m coming.  I’m coming.

Oh, I got to introduce the chaplain.  The chaplain is going to say a prayer before we eat.

6:09 P.M. EST

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