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First Name: Tristan

Last Name: Aitken

Birthplace: Erie, PA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Neil

Date of Birth: 18 May 1971

Date of Death: 04 April 2003

Rank: Captain

Years Served:
Tristan Neil Aitken

•  Iraq War (Operation Iraqi Freedom) (2003 - 2011)


Tristan Neil Aitken
Captain, U.S. Army
Operation Iraqi Freedom

Tristan Neil Aitken was born on 18 May 1971 in Erie, PA.

In 1991, Texas Christian University freshman Tristan Aitken joined the annual student rite of spring and followed the migration to Fort Lauderdale, FL. He didn't go to join the party animals; he went to minister to them. "He went to preach the gospel on the beach," his father, Ronald Aitken, said. "And that's what he did." Tristan carried that faith from the sands of Fort Lauderdale to the sands of the Middle East, drawing on it for calm as a commander of 217 soldiers in Iraq.

On 4 April 2003, U.S. Army Captain Tristan Neil Aitken was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 41st Field Artillery, 3rd Infantry Division, based at Fort Stewart, GA, and currently deployed in Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom. That day, Aitken was killed by a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) shot through the passenger window of a Humvee that he and another soldier were driving near Baghdad International Airport.

Tristan was a career military man who had been married just 16 months. He was a soldier; a member of a military family taught to take orders and not grumble. His father is retired Navy and his sister is an Army Second Lieutenant. Years ago, at Centre County Christian Academy, he was cool -- the dark glasses, two thumbs-up kid. But in an e-mail to a school chum, he was reflective, asking for prayers that he bring his men back safely.

Medals and Awards (Posthumous)

Bronze Star Medal
Purple Heart

Death and Burial

Captain Tristan Neil Aitken was killed in action on 4 April 2003. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, in Section 60, Site 7869.

Honoree ID: 2048   Created by: MHOH




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