FORT BRAGG, N.C. (WNCN) — Fort Bragg hosted both a world leader and a state leader for an early Thanksgiving celebration on Monday evening.
President Joe Biden, first lady Dr. Jill Biden, Gov. Roy Cooper and first lady Kristin Cooper arrived at Fort Bragg around 5:30 p.m. to celebrate the holiday with the troops.
Air Force One, with the Bidens aboard, landed and pulled up beside a hanger where dozens of troops were gathered inside. About 250 attendees were there, including elected officials, service members, and family members of deployed soldiers.
Dr. Jill Biden spoke first to the room of soldiers and their spouses as a line of food awaited the entire group. President Biden then briefly addressed people in the room.
“You do so much and your families give so much. I really mean it. From the bottom of my heart, the finest, the finest military that the world has ever seen. That’s not hyperbole,” Biden said.
Biden also thanked the military members for the work they perform.
“You literally are the finest the world has ever seen. And so damn proud associated with and it’s hard for me to even say it but the thing that’s amazing to me is how proud I am to be your commander and you are the most incredible group of women and men that we’ve ever seen. And so I just want to thank you so much,” Biden said.
The group was then led in a prayer before the meal. After that, the President put on an apron — complete with the presidential seal — to begin serving food.
The Bidens and Coopers then began serving Thanksgiving meals to members of the military as part of the White House’s Joining Forces Initiative.
After the meal, President Biden mingled throughout the room meeting with troops, their families and also posing for photos with Air Force One in the background. President Biden left the room just after 7:45 p.m.
The initiative is being led by First Lady Biden and is aimed at supporting military families.
The Bidens are expected to spend several hours at Fort Bragg with the Coopers and the troops before heading back to the White House Monday night.
Biden was last at Fort Bragg while serving as former President Barack Obama’s vice president. Monday’s trip will be his first to the base as commander-in-chief.