Remarks by President Biden and First Girl Jill Biden at Friendsgiving with Service Members and Navy Households | Norfolk, VA

Helicopter Mine Countermeasure Squadron Fifteen Hanger
Norfolk, Virginia

4:01 P.M. EST
THE FIRST LADY:  Nicely, Completely satisfied Thanksgiving. 
I’m sorry that I’ve to steer this off with a tragic announcement.  Our former First Girl Rosalynn Carter has simply handed.  And he or she was well-known for her efforts on psychological well being and caregiving and ladies’s rights.  So, I hope that in the course of the holidays, you’ll think about saying your — embody the Carter household in your prayers. 
When our son Beau was deployed, we noticed how a lot his kids missed their daddy.  And I understand how many on this room live with an empty chair at your desk proper now.  Or possibly you’re stationed removed from your loved ones, and your desk is slightly smaller this 12 months. 
You and your households sacrifice a lot in occasions of struggle and peace.  And it’s our obligation and honor to just remember to really feel supported. 
That’s what my Becoming a member of Forces initiative — my White Home initiative helps: navy and veterans’ spouses, caregivers, and survivors.  So, that’s what I began a number of years in the past with Michelle Obama, and we have now continued that on. 
And it’s why we be part of navy households for Friendsgiving 12 months after 12 months.  Thanks to the Robert Irvine Basis and the USO for making this attainable.  (Applause.)
We hope you may wrap yourselves within the love and neighborhood that surrounds you.  As a result of household is greater than dad and mom and companions.  It’s the individuals on this room, the bonds we forge, and the households we create collectively. 
Now I’ll flip it over to Navy veteran and Norfolk Navy partner, Sibrina Sears.
MS. SEARS:  Thanks.  Thanks. 
Good afternoon.  I’m Sibrina Sears.  I’m one of many many individuals with a partner deployed on the Eisenhower.  I’ve been married to my fantastic husband, ABEC Shannon Sears, for nearly 9 years now, and we have now 5 stunning daughters. 
Earlier than turning into a navy partner, I used to be lively obligation.  And earlier than that, I used to be a Navy brat.  I can say that I’ve skilled this life from each perspective, and it’s not onerous.  Being away from household and simply put in a brand new place will not be straightforward, however one factor I can say that makes it simpler is that this navy neighborhood and occasions like these that assist us — assist deliver us collectively and tell us that we aren’t forgotten and we’re nonetheless essential.
Now it’s my honor and privilege to introduce to you the president of the US of America, President Joe Biden.  (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT:  Thanks, thanks, thanks.
Please, everyone, sit down.  You don’t need to be standing. 
Thanks all so very a lot. 
You realize, I’ve been saying for an extended, very long time, we solely — we have now loads of obligations as a authorities.  We solely have one really sacred obligation, and that’s to arrange those that we ship into hurt’s method, take care of them and their households after they come residence, and ensure they’re by no means forgotten. 
You actually are — it’s will not be hyperbole — so, you actually are the spine, the backbone, the sinew of this nation.  Just one % of you — and it’s essential to maintain thoughts — 1 % of you — that’s all — that protects the 99 % of us.  One %.  And the sacrifices you make — not simply those that are in uniform however those that usually are not in uniform. 
You realize, there’s that well-known poet — an English poet who stated, “In addition they serve…” — Chaplain — “…who additionally solely stand and wait.”
I watched, for the 12 months our son was in Iraq as a significant in the US Military — in the event you excuse the reference to the Military — (laughter) — within the Military.  And I watched each morning that — once I was residence with Jill.  She’d rise up within the morning, and he or she’d be standing on the best way to show college.  And he or she’d be standing there with a cup of espresso over the sink, and you would see her mouthing a prayer that one among her — one of many generals — na- — our generals had — spouse had given her.  On daily basis. 
And it’s onerous that vacant tab- — that vacant chair, particularly for holidays.  It’s onerous watching it.  And lots of of you had been proper right here if you — not way back if you despatched your — your troops off, your loved ones off. 
However, , they’re unimaginable. 
All over the place I am going — and I’ve been to over 140 nations — in all places I am going in my profession, nobody misunderstands that we have now the best navy on this planet — not a joke.  We’ve the best navy on this planet.  And that’s not simply due to their combating capacity, which is un- — undisputed, however the best way —
(A toddler within the viewers cries.)
That’s okay.  You’re allowed — she’s allowed.  In my household, children rule.  (Laughter.)  So, she will holler, she will scream, do no matter she needs to do. 
However, look, I — I imply it from the underside of my coronary heart.  You realize, you members of the family, you’re the coronary heart of this operation.  You actually are.  Not — not a joke.  So, thanks, thanks, thanks. 
And like I stated, like Jill stated, , for the — for the 12 months after our son got here residence from Kosovo after which headed off to Iraq for a 12 months as an Military Main, I watched his children day-after-day.  And, , anyway, I don’t wish to get to speaking about that. 
However it’s simply — it’s simply not straightforward for you all.  So, thanks, thanks, thanks, thanks. 
And as I stated — , there’s a — John Milton, English poet — and I’ll finish with this — stated, “In addition they serve who solely stand and wait.”  “In addition they serve who solely stand and wait.”  And that’s what you do.  So, thanks, thanks, thanks. 
And I really like your ears.  I really like them.  They’re actually cool.  What’s your identify?
MS. GARCIA:  Jasmin. 
THE PRESIDENT:  Catherine.  What an exquisite identify.  That’s my mommy’s identify.  Nicely, good to see — how previous are you?  17?
MR. GARCIA:  She’s six.
THE PRESIDENT:  Six.  And the way previous are you?  Fifteen? 
MR. GARCIA:  4. 
THE PRESIDENT:  4?  You’re a fairly large man. 
Nicely, I inform you what.  Be good to your sister.  You’re going to wish her sometime.  No less than I did. 
Anyway, thanks all so very a lot.  And if I — I get to provide the dressing.  And in the event you don’t like dressing, simply come up and fake to do and say hello to me.  Okay?  (Laughter.) 
Thanks all very a lot.  And Completely satisfied — Completely satisfied Thanksgiving.  Could God love you all.  Thanks, thanks, thanks.
Now I’m going to introduce the Chaplain.  Chaplain, thanks.  Respect it. 
4:09 P.M. EST


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