How did Joe Biden's son Beau die? Here's how the Army Major won the Bronze Star Medal for his service in Iraq
Biden said, 'When my son volunteered and joined the US military as attorney general and went to Iraq for a year, won the bronze star and other commendations, he wasn’t a sucker'
America is furious. US President Donald Trump's ‘losers and suckers’ scandal has taken the nation by a storm and Joe Biden — former vice president, now the presumptive Democratic nominee — is now dipping his toes in the controversy. “Quite frankly, if what is written in The Atlantic is true, it is disgusting,” Biden said during an emotional speech in Wilmington, Delaware on Friday, September 4, afternoon. He chastised Trump's comments, saying, “It affirms what most of us believe to be true, that Donald Trump is not fit to be the commander-in-chief.”
Confessing that it was the closest he’d come to losing his temper during the campaign, Biden added, “When my son volunteered and joined the United States military as the attorney general and went to Iraq for a year, won the bronze star and other commendations, he wasn’t a sucker.” The 77-year-old also said, “The servicemen and women he served with, particularly those who did not come home, were not ‘losers.’ If these statements are true, the president should humbly apologize to every gold star mother and father and every blue star family that he has denigrated and insulted,” he said. “Who the heck does he think he is?”
Born on February 3, 1969, Biden's eldest son with his first wife Neilia Biden — Joseph Robinette "Beau" Biden III — was politician attorney, and officer in the Army Judge Advocate General's Corps from Wilmington, Delaware who died at age 46 on January 6, 2015. He served as the Attorney General of Delaware and as a Major in the Delaware Army National Guard.
In a tragic 1972 car accident when Beau was just four years old, his mother and younger sister Naomi were killed while Christmas shopping. His brother Hunter was just three years old and both were in the car but survived the crash. As per a New York Times report, Joe found love in the arms of Jill Jacobs, and "their lives quickly became intertwined." The report quotes that his young sons asked him when “we” were going to get married and Beau soon welcomed her as a "second mother."
After his graduation, he worked at the United States Department of Justice in Philadelphia from 1995 to 2004 — first as Counsel to the Office of Policy Development and later as a federal prosecutor and was eventually elected Delaware attorney general. In 2002, he married Hallie Olivere and the couple was blessed with daughter Natalie and Robert Hunter Biden II. The next year in 2003, he joined the military and soon was promoted to the Mayor in Delaware National Guard.
On October 3, 2008, Beau was deployed to Iraq and sent to Fort Bliss, Texas, for pre-deployment training. Beau was a part of the 2008 Democratic National Convention where Joe Biden was nominated for Vice President of the United States. His poignant speech for his father where he recounted the auto accident left many delegates teary-eyed. Meanwhile, Joe bid goodbye to his son saying, "I don't want him going. But I tell you what, I don't want my grandson or my granddaughters going back in 15 years, and so how we leave makes a big difference." Beau was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his service in Iraq.
In 2010, he complained of "headache, numbness and paralysis" and was admitted to Christiana Hospital in Newark, Delaware in 2010. While it was first ruled a "mild stroke," he was later diagnosed with brain cancer. He died on May 30, 2015, after battling the disease for five years. A huge funeral was held at St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church in Wilmington, Delaware, and was attended by former President Barack Obama, former First Lady Michelle Obama, their daughters Malia and Sasha, former President Bill Clinton, former First Lady Hillary Clinton, and several others. Chris Martin played the tunes of ''Til Kingdom Come' as Beau had been a huge fan of the band Coldplay.
After his death, Army Chief of Staff Raymond Odierno delivered a eulogy saying, "Beau Biden possessed the traits I have witnessed in only the greatest leaders." Beau was also presented a posthumous Legion of Merit for his service in the Delaware National Guard and The Delaware Conspicuous Service Cross, awarded for "heroism, meritorious service and outstanding achievement."
As Biden's speech for his son went viral, the Internet couldn't help but remember his late son. "@JoeBiden has a message for Donald Trump: his son Beau Biden was not a sucker when he came home from serving overseas. And the troops he served with who didn’t make it home are not losers. They’re all American heroes," one tweet read and another shared a photo of them saying, "Joe and Beau Biden while Beau was serving."
.@JoeBiden has a message for Donald Trump: his son Beau Biden was not a sucker when he came home from serving overseas. And the troops he served with who didn’t make it home are not losers. They’re all American heroes. pic.twitter.com/3tu0E5A7Yx— Matt Hill (@thematthill) September 4, 2020
Joe and Beau Biden while Beau was serving. 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/WeKXwjQHnZ— ToddHamer (@ToddHamer) September 4, 2020
"Joe Biden is very proud of his late son Beau Biden and his serving in the military. Joe Biden has every right to be proud. I am voting for Joe Biden a man of honor, integrity, faith and a deep love for his country," one tweet read and another said, "Beau Biden was military, come back when #45 has a son who served!"
Joe Biden is very proud of his late son Beau Biden and his serving in the military.Joe Biden has every right to be proud.I am voting for Joe Biden a man of honor,integrity,faith and a deep love for his country.— sandi wetzel Collins (@CollinsWetzel) September 5, 2020
Beau Biden was military, come back when #45 has a son who served!— Rogue Mama (@Mandarina65) September 5, 2020