© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden leave the White House to board Marine One in Washington on November 11, 2023. REUTERS/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades.
By Steve Holland
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will join military personnel and their families on Sunday for an early Thanksgiving meal dubbed “Friendsgiving.”
The event will take place at Naval Station Norfolk in Norfolk, Virginia.
Biden’s participation in the gathering for friends known as “Friendsgiving” kicks off the holiday week. He will conduct the traditional pardoning of the Thanksgiving turkey on Monday, and then leave on Tuesday for the Atlantic island of Nantucket to spend the Thursday holiday there with his family.
He celebrates his 81st birthday on Monday.
While in Norfolk, the Bidens will kick off an advance screening with service members and their families of “Wonka,” a new musical fantasy film focusing on a young Willy Wonka.
Then, they will participate in a Friendsgiving dinner with service members and military families associated with the Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Gerald R. Ford (NYSE:) aircraft carriers. Both vessels are deployed in the eastern Mediterranean in response to tensions from the Israel-Hamas conflict.
The Norfolk event is part of the White House’s Joining Forces Initiative, co-hosted by the United Service Organizations (USO (NYSE:)) and Robert Irvine Foundation.