November 13th, 2010
10:56 PM ET

Paula Deen, Jill Biden take part in day to honor military wives

Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, greets military spouses Saturday.

Jill Biden saluted a roomful of military wives Saturday for their dedication to their families and the country.

"You are very special people," said Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden. "Thank you for what you do and thank you for your service."

Biden spoke to the women at "Operation Home Cooking," an event that brought together military spouses from around Washington at the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show.

Biden drew upon her own experience as the mother of an active service member, recalling how she sent food to her half son, Beau Biden, when he was deployed to Iraq for 12 months.

"You send food because food is love," she said. "We give them what we do and what we make and we give them some of ourselves."

Her brief speech was the event's highlight for many in attendance, who relished the opportunity to have some time to themselves.

"It's just really hard being a military spouse, especially with them going back and forth to Iraq and Afghanistan and all the things that are going on," said Shawnnay Holland, whose husband just returned stateside.

"You have to raise your kids, you have to try and keep a happy home for
them, even though you're sad because you don't know if they're coming home or not. You just pray and you keep your head up and keep going."

Many of the attendees were in the D.C. area to care for loved ones staying at nearby military hospitals, including Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Bethesda Naval Hospital.

"They are the ones, the unsung heroes of the war, the unsung heroes of the military," said Denise Medved, founder of the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show and daughter of a West Point graduate.

"They're the ones keeping the home fires burning, they are the ones who have to deal with a  lot of the aftermath when their loved ones come home," she said.

"Operation Home Cooking" was held in conjunction with the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show, a traveling consumer event for those with a passion for food and entertaining.

The idea to hold an event honoring military spouses sprang from the suggestion of an Army major whose wife attended the show, Medved said.

"He said there are so many military spouses out there that need a break. This is a day for them to just forget all of their troubles."

The day of food and fun included presentations by celebrity chefs Paula Deen and Bobby Flay and a luncheon during which the women had the opportunity to meet Biden and the wives of top military brass.

But to the attendees, the event was about celebrating a common bond.

"This is one of the greatest things about military families, you can sit next to somebody you don't even know and just the camaraderie is outstanding," said Lorrussia Averett, whose husband has been deployed three times in 27 years with the Army.

"It's just a lot of fun."

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Filed under: Military • Veterans
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. tenya griggsby

    Great effort by Mrs. Biden and Paula Deen, but what is a 'half-son'? I thought Beau Biden was Mrs. Biden's 'stepson', a child from the VP's first marriage, and whose mother was killed in a horrific car accident? I've never heard that term used before. If I am underinformed that such a terminology exists, would someone please correct me?

    November 14, 2010 at 3:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Julibear

      I agree–I noticed that right away! Surely a misusage. As far as I am aware, Beau Biden is a whole person, but a stepson to Dr Biden. LOL CNN get some decent writers!

      November 14, 2010 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  2. ray gibbs

    Well & truly done, their actions & language, the love & respect, those giving, receiving, their ultimate citizenship & sacrifice.

    Each and all, Heroes true blue.

    November 14, 2010 at 4:56 am | Report abuse |
  3. Mitja Ng-Baumhackl

    Hey, get with the 21st century: About 15% of military service members are women and they are not all single. The event was to honor military spouses yet this article and headline repeatedly refer to military wives. People in the military get this, it's time for the media to move beyond the 1940s and '50s.

    November 14, 2010 at 5:59 am | Report abuse |
    • ACinRC

      I have no doubt what you say is true, and I would even go so far as to say that the 15% you claim is on the conservative side. However, that doesn't change the fact that this was a cooking-oriented event and the vast majority of military spouses who would be interested in such an event would be women.

      November 14, 2010 at 7:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Alison

      This is very true, but men married to women in the military by and large do not associate themselves with their counterpart wives. When my husband has been in units where there are females serving (he is a Marine, so there is no women in the majority of the units he has been with), although the husbands of the female Marines are more than welcome to participate in all the activities, they never did. Most men are not as social as women are, and don't feel a need to get together and share.

      November 14, 2010 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
    • AJH

      So what? Men don't like to cook? My husband's the chef between the two of us, and no I don't mean he's not king of the grill. I don't cook, he does. I wish they would have more events that are more co-ed and recognize military husbands as well; my husband feels completely left out, isolated and forgotten being a military husband.

      November 14, 2010 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jeff

    Wake up! Why are they not honoring military SPOUSES!!!!!!!!!!!! Are only wives of those deployed worth honoring? Next time you want me to support a woman's cause (breast cancer, girl scout cookies, HPV, domestic violence, etc), I'll refer you back to this as to why I'm not interested.

    November 14, 2010 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Jennie

      I love Girl Scout cookies!

      November 14, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Pat

    Isn't Beau her stepson? What is a half son?

    November 14, 2010 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
  6. Michigan girl

    Yes beau is her stepson she didnt have any part in his conception if she did he'd be her son there is no such thing as a half son half brother half sister yes of one parents kids to other parents kids

    November 14, 2010 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  7. HoosierDiva

    what the hell is a 'half' son? geez....get an editor!

    November 14, 2010 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  8. CaptainObvious

    Geez get a life people. They had Bobby Flay there, so I'm sure the event was open for men as well.

    November 14, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  9. cesar

    Geez get a life people. They had Bobby Flay there, so I'm sure the event was open for men as well.

    November 14, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. The Dude

    Once again CNN suffering from foot-in-mouth disease. It's getting worse and worse... the lack of proofreading, bad grammar (half-son), and amateur journalism. Who writes these articles, interns? And where are the editors? It's shameful.

    November 14, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  11. cesar

    @CaptainObvious: Go to Best, if you have the stomach for it.

    November 14, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  12. where is my army nurse?

    I don't know why anyone would marry someone in the military. sheese, what a life.

    November 14, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. 517blingdongding

    It just goes to show that most people really care our militiaries service is undeniable.

    November 14, 2010 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. 517blingdongding

    It is God's gift that these Christian women attend to the honor of our brave veterans, who fight the wicked beast under command of the eternal living God and his wholly scriptures.

    November 14, 2010 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Dude

      How in the world do you presume these are only Christian women? No Jews, Muslims, or Agnostics in the military? You're as bad, or worse, than the "wicked beast" you claim to repudiate.

      Mao was right, religion is poison, and you just proved it.

      November 15, 2010 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
  15. 517blingdongding

    Mao was nit the Godhead. He was the child-God. BUSH/OBAMA does the will of God on the earth.

    God bless them and god bless our patriotic men and women. God bless America.

    November 15, 2010 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |