President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will visit Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina on Monday ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.
The White House announced the president’s travel plans in an emailed press statement on Tuesday. The Bidens plan to celebrate the holiday with service members and military families as part of the first lady’s Joining Forces initiative.
The Joining Forces initiative is a White House initiative to support the families of current service members and veterans, their caregivers and survivors of deceased service members. The initiative is centered around employment, entrepreneurship, military child education, and health and well-being matters.
First Lady Biden’s Joining Forces initiative is a reboot of an initiative first brought about by First Lady Michelle Obama.
Visiting service members at military bases during the holidays is part of a tradition among U.S. presidents.
Then Vice-President Biden visited U.S. troops at Fort Bragg in April 2009, ahead of the Easter holiday.
Then-President Donald Trump visited U.S. troops in Afghanistan on Thanksgiving in 2019.
Then-First Lady Melania Trump and then-Second Lady Karen Pence also visited Fort Bragg in April 2019, ahead of Easter.
First Lady Biden also visited the nearby Fayetteville area in October 2020 during a campaign stop for her husband. During her visit, she spoke about her commitment to military families, which she said started during the Obama administration.
Fort Bragg is one of the world’s largest military installations and is home to the U.S. Army’s Special Operations Command, the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, 75th Ranger Regiment, 1st Special Forces Command and the Army’s parachute demonstration team, the Golden Knights.
The 82nd Airborne Division was heavily involved in the U.S. military-led civilian evacuation of Afghanistan in August. Maj. Gen. Chris Donahue, commander of the Fort Bragg-based 82nd Airborne Division, was photographed as the last U.S. soldier to leave the country, just minutes before midnight on August 30.