Friday, 01 June 2012 00:00
Sergeant James John Regan always wanted to be an Army Ranger. Upon graduating from Duke University, the Manhasset resident and Chaminade High School grad decided to forgo a job offer from a prominent financial services company and a scholarship to law school in order to serve his country. While in his fourth tour of duty, Sergeant Regan lost his life in Iraq, but his sacrifice and courage will forever endure.
On Tuesday, May 22, Senator Jack M. Martins had the privilege of inducting Sergeant Regan into the New York State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame. Mary Regan, Sergeant Regan’s mother, traveled to Albany to accept the honor.
“Sergeant Regan’s courage and sacrifice embodies the enduring spirit of our country. He believed strongly in service to his country. It’s up to us to remember that freedom and our way of life comes at a price. Sergeant Regan paid that price for all of us,” Senator Martins said. “I want to thank his mother and father, Mary and Jim, and I couldn’t be prouder to have Sergeant Regan as the NYS Senate Veterans Hall of Fame inductee from the Seventh Senate District. I will be forever grateful to the Regan family for their sacrifice.”
Sergeant Regan’s patriotism, dedication and willingness to sacrifice his life for his country serve as perfect reminders of what makes the United States the greatest country in the world. Although his life may have been lost fighting for his country in a faraway land, he will forever serve as a role model and symbol for freedom and for love of family, friends and country.
Sergeant Regan was truly a special person. With his limitless potential and a will to succeed, he chose to use his talents for the benefit of all. After growing up in Manhasset, Sergeant Regan attended Chaminade High School in Mineola, where he distinguished himself as an honors student and an All-American lacrosse player. He was recruited to attend Duke University where he again succeeded in the classroom and on the field, helping Duke reach the Final Four in lacrosse in 2002.
After graduating from Duke and with his whole life ahead of him, duty called. Sergeant Regan turned down a job offer for a prominent financial services company and a scholarship to law school to join the Army in 2004. Having deeply been affected by the September 11 attacks, Sergeant Regan was determined to serve his country as an Army Ranger. Again, showing his determination and burning desire to succeed, he graduated first in his class of 400 in Infantry Basic Combat Training. He attended and graduated from elite Ranger School and was assigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment, the premier light-infantry unit of the United States Army.
Having already served two tours of duty in Afghanistan and one in Iraq during the war on terrorism, Sergeant Regan left for his fourth tour of duty and second in Iraq in January 2007, having been promoted to Sergeant. On Feb. 9, 2007, while conducting combat operations in Northern Iraq, he made the ultimate sacrifice for his country when his vehicle was struck by an IED.
A testament to Sergeant Regan’s service were the awards and decorations he received including the Army Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge and Ranger Tab and the Purple Heart. Perhaps what best summarizes Sergeant Regan’s bravery in service was a statement by a fellow Army Ranger who said, “James Regan was the guy you wanted next to you at all times.”