Vice president accompanies wife to D.C. Armory book reading
Close to three dozen military children had the privilege of an invitation-only story time June 9 at the District of Columbia National Guard Armory. While the kids were named as the VIPs, some additional special guests from the executive branch of the government also attended.
Jill Biden — the second lady and teacher turned author — along with her husband, Vice President Joe Biden, attended the informal Saturday morning reading of Biden's new children's book, “Don't Forget, God Bless Our Troops.” The book shares the experiences of the second lady's granddaughter, Natalie, when her dad was deployed to Iraq.
Natalie also took part in the USO-sponsored book reading. The book presents readers coping mechanisms and ideas on how sons and daughters can stay in touch with military moms and dads during deployments.
“This is Natalie's story as well as your story,” Biden told the children. “You are very strong and resilient while your moms or dads are away. I decided as a teacher that the best way to get that message across was for teachers to read this [book] in their classrooms and moms and dads to read this to their children, so they are aware of what your lives are like. That's what this whole book is about.”
Before introducing the author, the vice president made a few remarks about military deployment and then distributed copies of his wife's book to the crowd. All children in attendance received a complimentary copy of the book.
“For six months or a year, there are missed birthdays, missed Thanksgivings and Christmases, and it's hard,” the vice president said, recalling his experience with deployments. “I guess Jill and I always knew that, but we never fully understood until our son was deployed.”
After the vice president spoke, the floor clearly belonged to Biden and her book reading. Like a story time veteran, she expertly intermingled story reading with displaying the book's illustrations so all could see, while sitting side-by-side with granddaughter Natalie.
The proceeds from sales of “Don't Forget, God Bless Our Troops,” will be awarded to the USO in order to establish scholarships for military children.