4th Assault Amphibian Battalion

April 28-29, 2023 | Gatesville, TX

The 96th Transportation Company, stationed at Fort Hood, TX, commemorated the 20th anniversary of their initial deployment to Iraq with a reunion in Gatesville, TX. From 2003 to 2008, the company undertook six deployments, with durations ranging from six to twelve months, where they navigated through IEDs and ambushes. Their critical role in transporting heavy equipment across long distances under such threats amplified their impact as a combat multiplier.

Soldiers who served during these tours, coming from various parts of the country, convened to rekindle the camaraderie formed during those challenging times. The reunion was marked by shared meals and campfire gatherings, allowing the veterans to reconnect and reflect on their The 20th Anniversary Reunion for the Marines of the 4th Assault Amphibian Battalion (AABN), who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom I, was profoundly moving. The gathering, filled with joy and nostalgia, allowed veterans to reconnect after two decades, with many introducing their families, including children and grandchildren, to fellow Marines.

The event was rich with storytelling, reminiscing on two decades of life, and exchanging both uplifting and challenging combat experiences. The sense of camaraderie and collective pride was distinctly felt throughout the reunion.

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Major Lara Soto traveled from the 4th Marine Division Headquarters in New Orleans to document the reunion for ComStrat. A poignant moment was the dedication of a shadow box in memory of a fallen comrade, Aviles, led by Lt Col Riemann and Sgt Maj Layton from Inspector-Instructor duty, which included a dedication ceremony at the entryway bulkhead.

The reunion was not just a social gathering but a historical milestone for the AAV community, especially as AAVs are transitioning out for newer models. Time spent in the Heritage Room was particularly meaningful, as Marines connected their personal legacies with the battalion's extensive history, spanning from World War II to present-day operations.

The event, hosted at the St. Petersburg American Legion Post 14, culminated in a special dinner, marking a memorable reunion for the AAV community.