One Picture Hits Home

Marine Corporal James Rega pictured on the cover of the April 21, 2003, issue of Newsweek. (KAIT/D.Allen)
Marine Corporal James Rega pictured on the cover of the April 21, 2003, issue of Newsweek. (KAIT/D.Allen)

April 22, 2003
Posted at: 8:27 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, Ark. -- As American troops continue in Operation Iraqi Freedom, now, more than ever, it is important for us here at home to stay in contact with our troops. In the case of one Region 8 family, however, they do not have to look much farther than the coffee table to see their relative overseas.

At only nineteen years of age, James Rega is a Marine serving his country in Iraq. Rega, a Maryland native, is a crew chief of an amphibious assault vehicle, or AAV. James is the nephew of ex-Jonesboro City Councilman Brian Rega, and the grandson of Jim and Rosemary Rega of Agnos.

The Region 8 Rega's depend on James' mother to keep them informed on how he is doing.

"He's been in contact with his mother, and mainly communicates with the rest of us through her, and she sends us some emails and pictures and things that he has sent to her," Brian Rega said.

"This picture is of James in the (Persian) Gulf," Brian said, pointing to a computer image e-mailed to him. "This is James driving his AAV out of the gulf."

The Rega's recently received a phone call from an excited relative in Illinois. The relative is a subscriber to the publication, Newsweek.

"'Do you get Newsweek?'", Rega said he was asked. "'Have you seen it?'"

"He said well you might want to take a look at it, because there's a picture on the front cover and the soldier's name is Rega."

When Brian and other family members went to newsstands, that's exactly what they found, James' face on the cover of Newsweek.

"For my parents," Brian Rega said. "To be able to see James on the cover of this magazine, for them I guess it was a relief to know that for a brief period of time - that one day when they snapped that photo - that he was okay."