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Biden visits with wounded soldiers at Walter Reed

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President Joe Biden made his first major foray outside the White House Friday, to visit wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Hospital. Biden thanked hospital officials for taking care of his on Beau in his final days "with great grace and dignity." (Jan. 29)

Video Transcript

JOE BIDEN: Good to see you. How are you doing, man?

ANDREW BARR: Mr. President, welcome.

JOE BIDEN: It's good to see you. I've spent a lot of time here.

ANDREW BARR: Yes, sir. Yes, sir.

JOE BIDEN: How are you, man?

RANDY SWANSON: Sir, how are you doing? Command Master Chief Swanson. It's very nice to meet you.

ANDREW BARR: Mr. President, welcome to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. I'm Colonel Andrew Barr, the director of the hospital. It's my distinct honor and privilege to welcome you back to the president's hospital, the flagship of military medicine. So--

JOE BIDEN: Well, you guys have been, as Megan would tell you, you have done a great deal for my family.

ANDREW BARR: Yes, sir.

JOE BIDEN: My son Beau, after a year in Iraq, came back with a stage 4 glioblastoma. You took care of him in his final days--

ANDREW BARR: Yes, sir.

JOE BIDEN: --with great grace and dignity. And in the old Walter Reed, I spent six months with a couple of cranial aneurysms and an atrial embolism. Great fun.

ANDREW BARR: Yes, sir.

JOE BIDEN: The docs are all right. The nurses are better.

ANDREW BARR: Yes, sir.

JOE BIDEN: Male and female.

ANDREW BARR: Yes, sir.

JOE BIDEN: You know what I mean?

ANDREW BARR: Absolutely.

JOE BIDEN: Anyway, you saved my life here.

ANDREW BARR: I appreciate that. Sir, this is Command Master Chief Randy Swanson. He's our senior enlisted leader.

JOE BIDEN: I know, I know. I'll never forget when my son Beau became a major. I said, Beau, you're a field grade officer. He said, Dad, I have no illusions. I don't know anything.

[LAUGHTER]

RANDY SWANSON: Sir, it's a absolute honor to have you here.

JOE BIDEN: It's an honor to be back.

RANDY SWANSON: We look forward to showcasing our team and our mission here.

JOE BIDEN: Well, I look forward to seeing it. For eight years, as the vice-president, I'd come here. My whole family would spend every Christmas Day here all day.

ANDREW BARR: Yes, sir.

JOE BIDEN: And seeing everybody, and the good news is there's not many people here--

RANDY SWANSON: Yes, sir.

ANDREW BARR: Yes, sir.

JOE BIDEN: --today. There were a lot back then.

RANDY SWANSON: Yes, sir.

JOE BIDEN: Well, you do wonderful work. You really, really do. I'm anxious to see you again.

ANDREW BARR: Thank you, sir.

JOE BIDEN: Thank you.

- All right, sir.

- What's it like to be back as commander in chief?

- Where are we going?