Veterans are "the backbone and spine of this country," President Biden said during Tuesday's State of the Union address, and he believes the United States has "a sacred obligation" to care for them while they serve and once they come home.
Biden said his administration is providing assistance to veterans seeking job training and housing, and will do more for those who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan and "faced many dangers, one being stationed at bases breathing in toxic smoke from burn pits." Those burn pits incinerate "the waste of war, medical and hazardous material, jet fuel, and so much more," Biden said. Many troops who breathe this in, some of "the fittest and best trained warriors of the world," come home and are "never the same."
They experience "headaches, numbness, dizziness, a cancer that would put them in a flag-draped coffin," Biden said. "I know. One of those soldiers was my son, Maj. Beau Biden." Beau Biden, who served in Iraq, died of brain cancer in 2015, and the president said he didn't know if a burn pit played a part in his illness.
Just as he began speaking about his late son, Biden was interrupted by Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), who appeared bound and determined to get her voice heard at some point during the State of the Union address. She tried and failed to get a "Build the wall" chant going as Biden discussed immigration, and after Biden said "flag-draped coffin," she attempted a new heckle.
"You put them in, 13 of them!" she shouted, in reference to the 13 U.S. troops who were killed in a bombing at the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, last summer. She was immediately met by boos, with one Democrat yelling, "Kick her out!" and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) seemingly muttering, "Shut up."
Biden ignored Boebert, going on to say his administration is "committed" to finding out more about burn pits and their link to illnesses. He then introduced Danielle Robinson, the widow of Sgt. 1st Class Heath Robinson, who died after being stationed near burn pits.