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NEWS | June 1, 2021

President Biden, first lady visit JBLE service members

By Tech. Sgt. Robert Hicks 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden visited Joint Base Langley-Eustis to meet with Airmen, Soldiers and Sailors and honor the fallen before Memorial Day, May 28.

The president and first lady were greeted by base leadership, before giving a speech to a crowd of JBLE service members.

President Biden praised JBLE for providing the tools and training necessary to prepare today’s service members to deploy in a moment’s notice in support of worldwide operations.

“Here at Joint Base Langley-Eustis you enable the success of our mission around the world,” President Biden said. “You provide intelligence support and airpower. You ensure our Soldiers and Airmen are ready to train and employ to combatant commands around the world, including this year adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols and quarantines before troops ship out, in order to minimize the spread of the virus.”

Also, he took a moment to remember our nation’s heroes who paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect American freedoms.

“Every single day I have my staff, since the war began, [write] my schedule and on the back of my schedule, it says U.S. daily troop update: ‘U.S. troops died in Iraq and Afghanistan, 6,927’” President Biden said. “The total fallen angels across the board is over 7,000. Every one of these lives lost in tragedy is an empty seat at the dinner table. A missing voice at the holidays, every one of them left behind a whole community. Not just one, a whole community. We can never repay that debt. But I promise you this, to all the Gold Star families across the country, we will never, ever forget. Each year, Memorial Day offers us a chance to reflect on the enormity and sacrifices generation after generation of Americans have made and the responsibilities that we bear.”

Before boarding Air Force One, President Biden and the First Lady concluded their visit with a meet and greet. They spoke and took photos with Airmen, Soldiers and Sailors from units across the installation and learned about their careers and backgrounds.

“We were privileged to host President Biden and the First Lady to show them what makes the JBLE community unique,” said Col. Clint Ross, JBLE installation commander. “We provide mission-ready expeditionary Airmen and Soldiers in support of joint and combined operations worldwide. It was an honor to showcase our warfighters and some of our mission capabilities to the president, first-hand.”