FORT POLK, La. – For over 200 years the 4th Infantry Regiment has protected America from enemies both foreign and domestic. It was formed January 1812 to fight the Indian Wars, and elements of the Warrior Regiment, to include 2nd Battalion, 4th Inf. Reg., currently with 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, have fought in every major war the United States was part of including the most recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The 4th Infantry Regiment Veterans Association held its first reunion at the home of 2nd Battalion at Fort Polk, La., June 4–7, 2014. During the four day reunion there was a welcome party, state of the regiment brief, awards ceremony, barbecue, good times and memories.
“This reunion is about bringing together or connecting if you will, former and current Soldiers that have served in the 4th Infantry Regiment. 2nd Bn. is the only battalion in the regiment that is currently stationed in the United States, and that makes 2nd Bn., 4th Inf. Reg. the senior battalion in the Regiment,” said retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Frank Sturek, the honorary colonel of 4th Inf. Reg.
Throughout its proud history, the Warrior Regiment fought in many notable battles like the Mexican-American War’s Battle of Monterey. The 4th Inf. Reg. fought at some of the most important and bloodiest battles in the Civil War: the Second Battle of Bull Run, Antietam, Gettysburg, Spotsylvania, and Appomattox.
During World War I, the regiment distinguished itself by earning the French Croix de Guerre for its efforts in the Third Battle of the Aisne, the battle of St. Mihiel, and Meuss-Argonne offensives where the regiment lost 80 percent of its men.
During World War II the regiment successfully repelled the Japanese from the Alaska Territory’s Aleutian Islands after five days of heavy fighting. Parts of the regiment were awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for their actions in the Alaska Territory.
Bridging the past with the future played an important role at the reunion. Some veterans took the time to educate 2nd Bn. Soldiers about their unit’s past in a not so formal setting.
“There was a lot of camaraderie between the veterans and the current Soldiers. I was happy that a bunch of Joes came out to the reunion. With this many Soldiers here, the 4th Infantry Regiment Veterans Association can raise a bunch of money to help the Soldiers, said Spc. Kenneth Tomblin, infantryman, Company D, 2nd Bn., 4th Inf Reg., 4th BCT, 10 Mtn. Div. from Tulia, Texas. “This reunion is something that I look forward to doing again.”
The 4th Infantry Regiment Veterans Association raises money throughout the year to support regiment Soldiers and veterans around the world.
“The association is very active in supporting the battalions, not only 2nd Bn. here at Fort Polk, they also support 1st Bn. Soldiers, located in Hohenfels, Germany. While we were deployed, they were very proactive in putting together care packages and writing us letters,” said Capt. Michael Hruska, commander, Headquarters Company, 2nd Bn, 4th In Reg, 4th BCT, 10 Mtn. Div.