Joe Biden claimed in a speech Wednesday that his late son Beau Biden lost his life in Iraq, but in truth Beau died years later of brain cancer.
Biden was in the Centennial State to declare the establishment of the Continental Divide National Monument at Camp Hale where the famed 10th Mountain Division trained ahead of World War II. Biden said the monument was being established “in honor of our nation’s veterans, Indigenous people, and their legacy.”
Biden’s eldest son served as a reservist in the Delaware Army National Guard and was deployed to Iraq from October of 2008 to September of 2009. Beau was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his service in Iraq, and was presented a posthumous Legion of Merit for his service in the Delaware National Guard. He served as the attorney general of Delaware from 2007 to 2015, including during his seven month stint in Iraq. Beau died at age 46 in May of 2015 following a years long battle with glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive brain cancer.
Biden frequent invocations of his son’s death has been criticized by some as an attempt to gain sympathy and good will amid his administration’s devastating policy failures.
“American soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division scaled that 1800-foot cliff, at night, caught the Germans by surprise, captured key positions, and broke through the Germans’ defensive line at a pivotal point in the war,” Biden stated before mentioning Beau. “Just imagine — I mean it sincerely — I say this as a father of a man who won the Bronze Star, the conspicuous service medal, and lost his life in Iraq. Imagine the courage, the daring, and the genuine sacrifice — genuine sacrifice they all made.”
In the face of a global shortage of natural gas, Biden also announced a temporary ban on oil extraction for about 225,000 acres in the Thompson Divide.
“Let me be clear there is no current or planned oil exploration production in the area. We’re just keeping things as they’ve been for a long time while we study if we can get this done,” he said.
Biden has a lifetime habit of making false or exaggerated claims, and of sharing questionable anecdotes about his personal experiences, including his dubious claim in May that he applied to the Naval Academy in 1965.
According to the New York Post, “Biden received five student draft deferments during his four years at the University of Delaware and subsequent three years at Syracuse University College of Law.”