Politics The Bidens Celebrate an Early Thanksgiving with Military Families in North Carolina The president and first lady celebrated "Friendsgiving" with troops and their loved ones at Fort Bragg before heading to Nantucket for the Biden family holiday By Aaron Parsley Aaron Parsley Aaron Parsley has been a part of PEOPLE's digital team for more than 15 years. People Editorial Guidelines Published on November 22, 2021 11:32 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images The Bidens' Thanksgiving festivities are in full swing. After pardoning a pair of turkeys for the annual White House tradition, President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden traveled to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, on Monday to spend time with troops and their loved ones. Around 250 people were in attendance at the event. During their speeches, the Bidens thanked the service members and their families for their sacrifice. "I know what it feels like for all of your families here because you won't be home for the holidays," the first lady said, referencing her son Beau Biden's service in Iraq and Kosovo. "So I want to thank all of you. That's why we came to have dinner with you — to say thank you to you." Brendan Smialowski/getty President Biden followed up Dr. Biden's remarks with thanks of his own, saying: "You do so much, and your families give so much. I really mean it. From the bottom of my heart, [you are] the finest military that the world has ever seen. That's not hyperbole." Trisha Yearwood Says 'It Was an Honor' to Share Thanksgiving Recipes with Jill Biden After their speeches, the Bidens helped serve a Thanksgiving meal to attendees. Clad in an apron with the presidential seal, President Biden served stuffing. Dr. Biden handed out the mashed potatoes. The event — dubbed a "Friendsgiving" celebration by Press Secretary Jen Psaki — was held as part of the White House's Joining Forces initiative to support service members and military families. RELATED VIDEO: First Lady Dr. Jill Biden Receives the White House Christmas Tree "Without a doubt, being a part of this military community has shaped who I am," Dr. Biden has said. (Her father was a Navy Signalman in WWII and her stepson Beau Biden served with the Delaware Army National Guard.) Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free weekly newsletter to get the biggest news of the week delivered to your inbox every Friday. On Tuesday, the president and first lady will travel to Nantucket, an island in Massachusetts beloved by the Bidens, where the family has celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday off and on since 1975.