Sen. Tim Kaine addressed the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Wednesday night.
The former Virginia governor, who was announced as Hillary Clinton’s running mate last week, began his speech by talking about his son, Nat Kaine.
“My son Nat deployed with his Marine battalion to protect the very NATO allies Donald Trump says he wants to defect,” Tim Kaine said.
He went on to tell the crowd, “I trust Hillary Clinton with our son’s life.”
As Kaine and his family step into the political spotlight, here’s what you need to know about his eldest son, Nat:
1. He Is an Active-Duty Marine
The 26-year-old graduated from George Washington University’s ROTC program, and is now serving in the military as an active-duty marine. Nat began active duty in January 2013, according to the Washington Examiner
This makes his father one of just a few members of Congress who have a child serving in the military.
2. He Has Two Siblings
Kaine is married to Anne Holton, who is the daughter of former Republican Governor Linwood Holton.
The couple married on November 24, 1984 at St. E’s altar, a year after Kaine graduated from Harvard with a Juris Doctor and was admitted to the Virginia bar. The Kaines eventually settled in Richmond, and still live in the same Northside neighborhood where they moved as newlyweds more than 30 years ago.
Kaine and Anne have three children together. At 26 years old, Nat is the eldest of the Kaine children. Kaine’s second son Woody (24) has a personal blog about film, however remains out of the public eye. Kaine’s daughter, Annella (21), is currently studying theater at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
All three attended Richmond public schools.
3. Nat Came up During One of His Father’s Debates in 2012
When campaigning for a U.S. Senate seat against republican George Allen, Kaine brought his oldest son, Nat, into the debate.
At the time, Nat was a Marine Corps reservist who was slated to begin active duty in January 2013, according to the Washington Examiner.
The article explains that Kaine argued his son was evidence that he wouldn’t slash the defense budget, as his opponent accused.
“You and I are both fathers,” Kaine said, according to the publication. “I have a son who has started a career in the military. I will not do things that will hurt the troops or defense. I will not do things hurting veterans.”
A trusted Kaine advisor told the Washington Examiner that the family was hesitant to even mention Nat. Kaine went on to win the Senate seat in November 2012.
Tim Kaine met with Virginia veterans in 2014 to address the importance of military issues, according to the Culpeper Star Exponent.
“No state is more connected to the military than Virginia,” he said. “My son is an infantry officer who takes control of his first platoon Monday so these are issues that matter to me personally.”
In an interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Kaine referenced comments that GOP nominee Donald Trump made criticizing the military.
“When I hear Donald Trump say the American military is a disaster, I want to go through the screen and shake the guy,” Kaine said in the interview. “We ought to have a commander in chief who talks about our troops with respect and gratitude.”
4. He Was Raised Attending Catholic Church
Like his two siblings, Nat was raised attending Catholic Church, and the whole family is active in Richmond’s St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, according to Kaine’s website.
Kaine has been vocal about his own Catholicism. “My faith is central to everything I do,” he said in an interview with The Washington Post. “My faith position is a Good Samaritan position of trying to watch out for the other person.”
Kaine recently discussed in a C-SPAN interview that religion has been an influence in his family life and his political career.
In an article with the Washington Post, Kaine described the challenges of balancing political obligation with religious views. He recalled allowing 11 executions when he served as Virginia governor. The Catholic church takes a strong stance against capital punishment.
“I really struggled with that as governor. I have a moral position against the death penalty,” he said. “But I took an oath of office to uphold it. Following an oath of office is also a moral obligation.”
5. Kaine Had Concerns Over Balancing His Political Career & Raising A Family
Kaine’s father, Al, expressed concern over the lifestyle that comes with a political career, according to The Virginian-Pilot.
“I feel concerned for his children,” Al Kaine told the paper in 2005. “Anne comes from a political family, so it’s not new to her, but it’s new to the children. … It’s sort of a lonely life. I hope that he will remain himself and that he can deal with the celebrity status.”
Tim Kaine almost dropped out of his bid for lieutenant governor over similar concerns.
He told the Virginian-Pilot, “I was driving with Anne one day with the kids and I remember thinking, ‘Geez, what if I win and then I run for governor and win? This is nine years now that I’m laying out, and at the end of nine years Nat’s going to be in college. Woody will be a year away from college. Annella will be in high school. I’ve already missed an awful lot of time with them.’?”
However, his wife reassured him that he could handle both jobs.
“Don’t assume that you can’t be a good dad and be in politics at the same time,” she said, according to the article.