Vice President of the United States Joe Biden, and his wife Dr. Jill Biden visited with service members and their families at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Saturday, July 27, on their way back from Asia to honor men and women in uniform, as well as highlight the rebalancing efforts in the Pacific region.
“America’s strength in the Pacific has never been greater,” said Biden. “This rebalancing to Asia is a reassertion of our historic role … we are, and will remain, a resident Pacific power.”
Biden continued to emphasize the importance of the Pacific region.
“After a major strategic review of our military posture around the world,” Biden continued. “President Obama and our administration decided to update our presence to reflect the growing importance of the Pacific region. Sixty percent of our Naval assets will be applied to the Pacific Fleet by 2020.”
As the Vice President wrapped up his six-day trade and diplomatic trip to India and Singapore, he and Dr. Biden had a chance to visit with many service members. During the remarks, they honored those who stand the watch at home while their loved ones are deployed.
“Military families make up 1 percent of the population, and 99 percent of the rest of the population owes you our thanks for the incredible sacrifices you make,” he said. “The unseen sacrifices — the birthdays and weddings missed, the birth of a child or a funeral, the baseball games, the dance competitions, the child receiving an award, the mother reading a bedtime story, the father helping you with your homework … that’s all missed when you’re deployed.”
While both Vice President and Dr. Biden expressed their gratitude to military families, the gratitude at the event was on both sides of the field.
“I think it’s a really great experience for my children, this may be a once in a lifetime thing for them,” said Kelly Boyd, wife of Petty Officer 1st Class Keith Boyd from Navy Information Operations Command, Kunia. “They were very sincere and it was nice for them to come to our little island and take the time to visit with us.”
Prior to spending the rest of their visit taking photos and speaking with those in attendance, Vice President Biden shared a message from Washington.
“No one has paid a higher price than military families. I want you to know how much, on behalf of the President, Michelle Obama, Jill and I, how much we honor your service.”
Press Release, July 30, 2013; Image: US Navy