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Bettendorf veteran reflects on friendship with Beau Biden ahead of inauguration

The two initially met at a campaign event in Des Moines in the 80s
Published: Jan. 19, 2021 at 6:25 PM CST
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - The story began in January 2020 when Jeno Berta was asked to host a second event for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign at Berta’s father’s bar, Jeno’s Little Hungary.

“Get a phone call from the staff, saying we want to do another event, and it’s a little higher serving this time, thus being the vice president,” Berta said.

Although Berta had known the Bidens long before the event, particularly Joe’s son Beau.

“I actually first met Beau Biden in 1987, I was in Des Moines for then Senator Biden’s first run for president, and then I ran into Beau in Iraq, it was March of 2009, and I said to him ‘hey, you probably don’t remember this but I met you way back when’ and he and I got to be good friends,” Berta said, “I was very humbled to get to know then Captain Biden, just without question one of the most decent people I’ve ever met, I miss my friend Beau.”

Beau died at age 46 in 2015 after a battle with brain cancer. Beau would be the second child that President Elect-Biden had lost, after his first wife Neilia and one-year-old daughter Naomi died in a car accident in 1972.

During the January 2020 event, Berta’s father pulled a photo of Berta and Biden in their military uniforms off the wall and presented the photo to Joe.

Berta said the bustling room went silent as it happened.

“The vice president looked at the photo of us and he said, ‘every day, I pray Beau is proud of me’ and I said to the ‘Mr. Vice President, now Mr. President-Elect, he is,’” Berta said.

“He (Joe Biden) will say, ‘Beau should have been president,’” Berta continued.

Later on Tuesday, the President-elect said the same in Delaware Tuesday before departing for Washington D.C.

“I am even more proud to be standing here doing this from the Major Beau Biden facility. Ladies and gentlemen, I only have one regret. He’s not here. Because we should be introducing him as president,” Biden said.

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