20th Anniversary of Iraq Reunions

Two F-15 Eagles deploy flares after receiving fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker in support of Operation Inherent Resolve over Iraq

2023 is going to be a very important year for all military reunion associations and groups, and all veterans for that matter. Whether you’re the reunion chair for your group or a veteran looking to join an association or start one of your own – Armed Forces Reunions, Inc. is glad to help make your next reunion the best yet, or your first reunion one to remember. Each generation of American veterans before you, starting with the Greatest Generation, have relied on our expertise and buying power to make sure that anyone who wants to attend can afford to attend, and that the attendees leave begging you to start planning the next one.

4th ID soldiers conduct a live-fire mortar exercise at Al Asad Air Base

Next year will mark the 20th anniversary of our troops being deployed to Iraq. You don’t have to ask a reunion association what the biggest challenge they are facing is, the answer is almost always the same: getting the next generation of veterans involved to carry on your association, your reunions, and your brotherhood. So many associations have units that are still active or were active during the War on Terror, and these young veterans have a huge appetite to attend reunions or even to start reunion groups of their own. There has not been a better opportunity before to get this generation involved in your association, and this is the best opportunity you will have for a while.

Our suggestion to any reunion association for 2023 is to make the ‘20th Anniversary of Iraq’ your reunion theme and make a big effort to have younger veterans attend. Armed Forces Reunions, Inc. has planned many reunions centered around such a theme of anniversaries or dates significant to a particular unit in our almost 35 years of reunion planning. The ones that immediately come to mind are the reunions we planned around the 60th Anniversary of the Korean War. We had the Korean War Veterans Association, Korean Ex-POW Association, and the 196th Light Infantry Brigade in DC all at the same time. We bused thousands of veterans to and from the Mall for memorial services, and even President Obama was speaking. Another would be the Centennial Celebration of Marine Air for the Marine Corps Aviation Association also in DC. There are too many others to mention here, but the point is that when reunion associations are looking to hold their biggest and baddest reunion – they come to Armed Forces Reunions, Inc. to get the results delivered.

101st Airborne Division soldiers fire M777 Howitzer at Qayyarah West Airfield

If you’re a veteran of Iraq and looking to attend your unit’s reunion for the first time, google “ ‘your unit name’ reunion” and you should find it if there is one. You can also find reunion listings online at www.legion.org/reunions, as well as a few other websites that list reunions that can be found easily. If you don’t see a reunion group for your unit – start one! It’s not as complicated as you think, and every reunion association alive today was started by a veteran or a few veterans like yourself that just wanted to get back together with their brothers and sisters from service. It’s much easier today than it was decades ago when we got started. The internet has made everything so easy and accessible; reunion groups today start with simply a Facebook page. Invite the veterans from your unit you know, have them invite the ones they know, and so on. You’ll be amazed what will happen when you all get in one place again.

Once you have a good amount of people in your group, give us a call to talk about the next steps. Also check out our blogs How to Start a Military Reunion Group and How to Plan A Military Reunion for more tips and best practices as you get started.

At Armed Forces Reunions, Inc. we take great pride in serving this nation’s veterans. We’re a small, family owned and operated business that has a deep understanding of veterans and the needs of veteran groups. Whether you jumped out of planes, flew aircraft, fired artillery, sped tanks through the desert, were boots on the ground in close combat, handled communications, logistics, or changed tires – your service matters and won’t be forgotten.


Charley Dey