"Don’t you ever forget that name": Biden’s tough meeting with grieving relatives

Schmitz did not want to hear about Beau, he wanted to talk about Jared. Eventually, the parents took out a photo to show to Biden. “I said, ‘Don’t you ever forget that name. Don’t you ever forget that face. Don’t you ever forget the names of the other 12,’ ” Schmitz said. “ ‘And take some time to learn their stories.’ ”

Biden did not seem to like that, Schmitz recalled, and he bristled, offering a blunt response: “I do know their stories.”…

Despite Schmitz’s disenchantment with Biden, one part of the encounter did strike him favorably. The president at one point pulled out the card he keeps in his breast pocket showing the number of American service members who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It’s something Biden has talked about for years, but now the card had an addition that reflected the new toll that Biden was responsible for. “At the end of it, it had ‘Plus 13,’ ” Schmitz said. “I know it’s just a number, but it was a simple reflective thing that he looks at. I’ll give him kudos there.”