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Jill Biden meets with surfing veteran therapy group

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Biden met with members of Bude Surf Veterans Saturday, a group that offers support to local veterans.

NEWLYN, UK — U.S. first lady Jill Biden told members of a British group that uses surfing as therapy that she once owned a surfboard and it was “white with a big butterfly” on it.

She met Saturday with members of Bude Surf Veterans, a volunteer organization based in Cornwall, England, which offers social support and surfing outings to military veterans, emergency workers and their families to help them cope with trauma.

The first lady spent just under an hour talking with about eight people, including a young girl, as they sat at a picnic table outside a contemporary art gallery overlooking Mount’s Bay. Her husband, President Joe Biden, attended the Group of Seven world leaders summit that is taking place elsewhere in southwest England.

“So I’m Jill,” she said, introducing herself.

The first lady has spent many years working on military family issues, both in and out of public life. She is the daughter of a Navy signalman and her late son Beau served in the Delaware Army National Guard before he died of brain cancer in 2015 at age 46.

One member of Bude Surf Veterans told her the group was “life-saving.” Members wore light blue collared shirts that said: “Surf. Grow. Heal. Bude Surf Veterans.”

Biden observed that the “water is so calming.” She celebrated her 70th birthday earlier this month at the beach in Delaware.

She also spoke to the group about attending the Invictus Games, an international sporting event for wounded, injured and sick servicemembers founded by Britain’s Prince Harry.

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After the meeting, Biden caught up with the other spouses of the G-7 leaders for a performance at an outdoor theater overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

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