Bidens Thank Sailors Aboard USS Ronald Reagan
(May 20, 2009)
Vice President Joe Biden shakes hands on the pier with sailors from Nitmitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan. The vice president and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, visited Ronald Reagan during a familiarization tour of naval facilities in the San Diego area. Reagan is preparing for its upcoming deployment to the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean later this spring.
Photo by Seaman Apprentice Amanda L. Ray
SAN DIEGO, May 15, 2009 -- The vice
president and his wife visited USS Ronald Reagan here
yesterday as part of a familiarization tour of naval
facilities in southern California.
While aboard the USS Ronald Reagan, Vice President Joe Biden
announced the Defense Department's plan to expand its
housing assistance program with $555 million for
servicemembers forced to sell their homes at a loss during
the country's struggling housing market.
During their tour, Biden commented on the Ronald Reagan
Strike Group's successful 2008 deployment, which included
humanitarian assistance in the Philippines and combat
operations in Afghanistan.
"You are agile, capable in a variety of missions, and you're brave
enough to succeed every time you are deployed,"
Biden told the 2,000 sailors.
"A grateful nation owes you," he said.|
Much to the delight of the crew, the vice president and his
wife, Jill Biden, sat down for lunch with Ronald Reagan
sailors after his speech.
"It's exciting, a once-in-a-lifetime experience," said
Aviation Boatswain's Mate Airman Elizabeth Irby. "I was
speechless when he sat down with us. He was intriguing and
"Having the vice president visit is something I wouldn't get
to do in any other job," added Machinist's Mate Fireman
Alecia Guerrera. "It's nice to hear his support for the
military and Reagan in particular."
The vice president posed for hundreds of photos with
sailors, thanking them individually for their service.
"I hope you all realize how much we support you," he said.
Jill Biden, who along with First Lady Michelle Obama
advocates for military families, met later with area
ombudsmen to discuss family readiness issues.
"Your loved ones will not be alone when you deploy," she
told the Ronald Reagan crew. "Your country appreciates your
courage and strength."
USS Ronald Reagan is the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 7
and the ninth of 10 Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft
carriers. The ship is named for the 40th president. Its
motto, "peace through strength," was a recurring theme
during the Reagan presidency.
By Navy Seaman Alexander Tidd
Navy News Service
Special to American Forces Press Service
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