Joe Biden, 2020 presidential candidate, told a touching story of how he pinned a medal on a soldier overseas, but the previous vice president seems to have gathered three different war stories and jumbled up a variety of details.
The Washington Post Reported Thursday, 76-year-old Biden told 400 people gathered in a Hanover, New Hampshire college meeting gallery about how a general asked previous Vice President Biden to travel to Afghanistan, Kunar province to give an award to a Navy captain.
The Navy commander had rescued one of his comrades by scaling a 60-foot canyon and carrying his comrade out on his back while under fire, Biden reported.
Biden said the general invited Biden to bestow the service member with a Silver Star, but the previous vice president disclosed that the hero felt like a failure. “He said, ‘Sir, I don’t want the damn thing!'” Do not pin it on me, Sir! Please, Sir. Do not do that! He died. He died!'” Biden recounted, “This is the God’s truth,” Biden told the audience. “My word as a Biden.”
But Biden’s story is an incorrect collection of at least three war stories, WaPo reported. The publication based this case on interviews with dozens of commanders, troops, and Biden officials.
Biden’s three-minute tale inaccurately detailed not only the location, time period, and action, but also the kind of medal, and the service member’s military rank and branch, and Biden’s own role in the ceremony. Biden didn’t visit Kunar province as VP, but in 2008 he did visit as a U.S. senator.
The soldier Biden mentioned was 20-year-old Kyle J. White, an Army specialist. Though previous President Barack Obama and not Biden pinned a Medal of Honor, rather than a Silver Star, on White, and Obama pinned the medal on White at a White House ceremony that took place six years following Biden’s visit to Kunar.
Biden however, did pin a medal of honor to a soldier who did not believe he deserved the award according to WaPo, Army Staff Sgt. Chad Workman, in Afghanistan in January 2011. “In Afghanistan, he was moved by Staff Sgt. Workman’s valor and selflessness, which is symbolic of the duty and sacrifice of the 9/11 generation of vets who have contributed so much across countless deployments,” said Andrew Bates, Biden campaign spokesman in a statement. Biden’s campaign did not immediately acknowledge to request for comment.