Biden to troops: 'You are the backbone of this country'

President praises military ahead of Memorial Day

Updated: May 28, 2021 - 5:47pm

President Joe Biden on Friday praised U.S. military forces as "the backbone of the country" ahead of the Memorial Day weekend and as the U.S. moves to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan after two decades of combat there. 

Biden made the laudatory remarks at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Hampton, Va., on Friday afternoon, offering commendations for the lengthy tours that many troops have served in the Middle Eastern country. 

"No other war have you gone in, served, and got back up again and got back again and again and again,” he said during the remarks. 

Calling troops "incredible" for "go[ing] back and back again," Biden said: "Simply stated, you are the backbone of this country, you are the backbone of the country." 

“You all just showed up and did your job,” he added. “You never gave up until we delivered justice to Osama bin Laden.”

The federal government has set a Sept. 11 deadline for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, twenty years to the day from the terrorist attacks that originally launched the lengthy engagement there.