Jill Biden praises her husband's advocacy for the military as wounded vets begin annual bike ride

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jill Biden on Wednesday praised her husband’s advocacy for U.S. service members before she sounded a red horn to start the Wounded Warrior Project’s annual Soldier Ride from the White House lawn.

“My husband often says that we have many obligations as a nation but only one sacred obligation: to support you and your families when we send you into harm’s way and when you return,” the first lady said about President Joe Biden, a Democrat who is seeking reelection to a second term.

“As president and as a military dad, he never loses sight of that conviction. And that’s why he’s working tirelessly to make sure that you and your families have what you need to thrive,” she said.

Jill Biden spoke about steps the president has taken to expand veteran access to quality home health care, provide benefits and care for veterans harmed by toxins and prevent homelessness and suicide among veterans. She also talked about help for spouses of active-duty and retired servicemembers.

The Bidens’ late son Beau, who died of brain cancer in 2015 at age 46, was a major in the Delaware Army National Guard who spent a year in Iraq. The first lady’s dad was a Navy signalman in World War II.

Biden unexpectedly joined the first lady after signing a $95 billion war aid bill and referred to the group of riders as the “spine of America.” The president started to take an apparent dig at former President Donald Trump, Biden’s likely Republican opponent in November, before he stopped himself.

The Wounded Warrior Project was founded in 2003 to help veterans and the families and caregivers of service members who suffered a physical or mental injury or illness while serving in the military on or after Sept. 11, 2001. Soldier Ride began in 2004 to help raise awareness for injured veterans. The tradition of starting the ride from the White House began in 2008.

The first lady hosted the event as part of Joining Forces, her White House initiative to support active-duty service members, veterans, their families and their caregivers.

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