Joe Biden Recalls Conversations with Uncle and Father at a Time When Both were Dead
President Joe Biden shared a story Friday of conversations he had with his father and uncle when he was elected vice president, although both were dead at the time he claimed he had the exchanges.
The president made remarks about his family history during a town hall event for veterans in Delaware.
You know, I — my dad, when I got elected vice president, he said, ‘Joey, Uncle Frank fought in the Battle of the Bulge.’ He was not feeling very well now — not because of the Battle of the Bulge. But he said, ‘And he won the Purple Heart. And he never received it. He never — he never got it. Do you think you could help him get it? We’ll surprise him.’
But the dates do not line up.
Biden was elected vice president in 2008.
President Biden’s uncle Frank Biden died in 1999, according to his obituary.
Biden’s father, Joe Biden Sr., died in 2002.
The president continued his story without correcting the dates.
“So we got him the Purple Heart. He had won it in the Battle of the Bulge,” Biden said referring to him and his dad. “And I remember he came over to the house, and I came out, and he said, ‘Present it to him, okay?’ We had the family there.”
File/A Purple Heart medal is seen during a Purple Heart ceremony. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Biden recalled that his uncle was not thrilled by the gesture.
I said, ‘Uncle Frank, you won this. And I want to…’ He said, ‘I don’t want the damn thing.’ No, I’m serious. He said, ‘I don’t want it.’ I said, ‘What’s the matter, Uncle Frank? You earned it.’ He said, ‘Yeah, but the others died. The others died. I lived. I don’t want it.’
It is unclear what about Biden’s story is true and what is not.
If Biden did somehow obtain a Purple Heart medal for his uncle, he would have done it as a senator, when both his father and uncle were alive.
But the details about Biden’s uncle who had “won” a Purple Heart, but never got the medal remains a mystery.
The New York Post investigated and found no record of Frank Biden getting awarded the Purple Heart and no mention of the medal was made in his obituary.
The White House did not respond to requests for comment.