Why Joe Biden claimed his son Beau died ‘in Iraq’
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US president Joe Biden has faced criticism for saying his son Beau died in Iraq, when he actually passed away on US soil.
Plenty have been left confused after the US president told a group of people his son Beau died in Iraq.
Biden made the comments during a speech in Colorado on Wednesday (12 October) while declaring Camp Hale, where US troops were trained during the Second World War, a national monument.
He said he was the father of a man who 'lost his life in Iraq', a reference to son Beau who died of brain cancer aged 46.
Many people assumed this was a mistake from the gaffe-prone president since his son died at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in the US.
Biden has gained a reputation for making errors which are caught on camera, including a recent incident where he tried to pay tribute to congresswoman who had died.
However, this time it might not be a gaffe as Biden has explained before why he believes his son died in Iraq.
The president made the comments while commemorating the efforts of the US troops who had trained for war at the camp, a 436 square mile training site.
He said: "Just imagine - and I mean this sincerely, I say this as a father of a man who won the Bronze Star, the Conspicuous Service Medal, and lost his life in Iraq.
"Imagine the courage, the daring, and the genuine sacrifice - genuine sacrifice they all made."
Political opponents of the president seized on the comments as evidence that he was misleading people, arguing that he 'falsely claimed' his son died in Iraq.
Beau Biden served in the US military and spent a year in Iraq between 2008 and 2009, his father believes what happened in that year is what caused the cancer that ultimately killed him.
When Beau was in Iraq he was often near burn pits, areas of military bases used to dispose of a whole range of waste products including plastic and batteries.
As you can probably guess from the name, the preferred method of waste disposal was throwing things into the pit and burning them, which may have released harmful levels of toxins.
The US Department of Defence has said nearly 3.5 million people could have been exposed to harmful levels of toxins from the burn pits, and the US president believes his son's brain cancer was caused by them.
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