2nd Battalion, 4th Marines | Battle of Ramadi

April 5-8, 2024 | Camp Pendleton, CA

More than 650 Marines, sailors, Gold Star Families, and guests of 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines' (2/4) 2004 deployment to Ar Ramadi, Iraq reconnected aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton on April 5, 2024. The active-duty Marines of 2/4 welcomed them back to Camp San Mateo, where more than 20 years ago the Marines and sailors lived and trained for combat. This included a memorial ceremony where the 33 Marines and 1 sailor who made the ultimate sacrifice in 2004 were honored and remembered.

The ceremony was deeply moving, featuring a Purple Heart Ceremony where the names of the fallen heroes were respectfully called out. In a poignant tribute, a Marine or sailor of the same rank as each fallen comrade placed a Purple Heart on a table before the battalions recently refurbished memorial cross.

Outside the ceremony, 2/4 set up static displays featuring current tools used by modern Marine Corps infantry units. Veterans, their families, and Gold Star Families had the opportunity to handle these tools, including upgraded versions of the ones the combat veterans once used. Current members of 2/4 were available to answer questions and engage in discussions, learning from the experiences of the veteran Marines and sailors.

Following the ceremony, both veterans and active-duty members, accompanied by their families, undertook a meaningful hike to a landing zone above Area 62. There, they rededicated the cross, which will later be returned to its revered place among the memorial crosses atop “First Sergeant’s Hill,” overlooking Camp San Mateo.

Throughout the day, attendees visited significant sites across the base where they or their loved ones once lived and trained, revisiting memories of service and sacrifice from over two decades ago. The current members of 2/4 hosted the group with great warmth, sharing stories of the battalion’s storied past and forming connections with those who paved the way before them.

On the final day of their reunion, some of the veterans and Gold Star Family members joined with the Camp Pendleton Young Marines program and conducted a beach cleanup along Camp Pendleton's section of San Onofre Beach.