Legacy Military Reunion with a Gold wreath between Military Reunions. Est 2023 written under the wreath
Honoring your legacy
It has been 20 years since the Marines and Sailors of 1st Battalion 4th Marines have fought their bloody battles in Iraq.
In early 2003, the Battalion mobilized for the initial invasion of Iraq, deployed to Kuwait, and later spearheaded the attack towards Baghdad as part of Regimental Combat Team One (RCT-1). They engaged in intense combat from An Nasiriyah to Saddam City and into Baghdad. After the regime’s fall, they transitioned to security operations, supporting the rebuilding efforts of the provisional Iraqi government. Following their return to Camp Pendleton, they quickly prepared for redeployment to Iraq.
In August of 2004, once again, 1/4 was called into action. While using the Imam Ali Shrine and cemetery as cover, the radical Shi’a cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr and his Mahdi army, began launching large-scale attacks on Iraqi Police Stations in the City of Najaf. After securing the Police stations, the Marines and Sailors of the 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, along with other supporting assets of the 11th MEU, launched a counterattack against the Mahdi army into their safe haven in the Najaf cemetery. Intense combat would take place as the warriors of the 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, weaved in between and crawled over headstones, and tombs, and cleared subterranean catacombs. After nearly a month of intense combat, the remnants of the Mahdi army were left isolated inside the Imam Ali Shrine and surrounded by the Marines and Sailors of 1st Battalions, 4th Marines and other supporting Coalition Forces. The battle would culminate in a ceasefire negation in which a deal allowed the remaining Mahdi army to leave the Shrine in which all their arms and equipment were subsequently seized by the Marines. Following the battle, the Battalion would go on to continue to conduct security and stability operations as well as support other large-scale operations such as Operation Phantom Fury until their return home. 
This August marks the 20th anniversary of the Marines and Sailors battle in the cemetery against the Mahdi Army in Najaf, Iraq. In remembrance of this event, and the achievements of the Battalion in support of both Operation Iraqi Freedom I & II, we plan to bring our Marines and Sailors back together one more time for a reunion and memorial hike at Camp Horno, CA, to the 1st Marine Regiment memorial in the hills that overlook the Camp to honor and remember our fallen. 
A small donation goes a long way in ensuring our Marines and Sailors have a memorable experience that is worthy of the legacy of the warriors of 1st Battalion, 4th Marines.  If you find it in your heart to donate, please fill out the form below.  
Semper Fidelis!
If you would like to go to the reunion and need to sign up, please hit the button below and it will take you to our application form. 
 

20th Anniversary of the Battle of Najaf

Your donation helps the heroes of 1/4 come together and heal!

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Doug Hayenga – Treasurer, Board of Legacy Military Reunions 

Doug Hayenga grew up in St. Cloud, MN, where he graduated from Tech High School. Before 9/11, Doug joined the United States Marine Corps and served from August 2001 to December 2006. During his service, he completed two combat tours in Iraq. On his second tour in Fallujah in 2004, while serving as an infantry Team Leader with the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, he was severely injured and was subsequently medically retired after recovering from his wounds.

After his military service, Doug earned a degree in Workforce Education and Development from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and a Master’s in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance from Grand Canyon University. He currently serves as a Deputy Training Officer for the Navy.

Doug resides in Virginia Beach, VA, with his wife, Dinora, a retired Navy veteran, and their two daughters. He is passionate about helping veterans come together to form a community of support and brotherhood, which led him to co-found Legacy Military Reunions.

Robert Shumate – Chairman of the Board and Secretary of Legacy Military Reunions

Robert Shumate grew up in Northeast Texas, just outside of Texarkana, where he currently resides. In 2001, prior to the attacks on 9/11, Robert joined the Marine Corps shortly after high school. As a decorated combat veteran, he served two combat deployments in Iraq. His first deployment was in 2003 during the initial invasion as a radio operator. He returned to Iraq in 2004, serving in Fallujah as a squad leader, where he was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with combat valor distinguishing device and was combat meritoriously promoted to the rank of Sergeant. Robert continued his service in the Marine Corps Reserves, where he was later promoted to Staff Sergeant.

After leaving active duty, Robert pursued higher education at Texas A&M University-Texarkana, where he studied Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. During his time there, he founded the school’s Student Veterans Association in 2010, serving as its President. He also organized a community-wide event to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

Currently, Robert is a Project Manager in the sports industry, collaborating with numerous professional teams and Division I schools nationwide. His extensive experience in organizing his unit’s reunions inspired him to co-found Legacy Military Reunions with Benjamin and Doug, where he continues to dedicate his efforts to bringing veterans together.