Tatum Family Relieved To See Marine Son On Magazine Cover

A week ago, the Tatum family invited KLTV into their home. Then, they were watching news around the clock desperately hoping to catch a glimpse of their 21 year old Marine son on TV amidst Baghdad falling.

"Tuesday, I had a call from one of Lewis's Marine buddies," says Michelle Tatum, Lewis's mother.

Michelle's stomach dropped when she heard. Her son was on the April 21st cover of U.S. News and World Report.

"I was just so excited and my husband who works nights was listening in and he jumped up and we were just so happy and we went to look for it," describes Michelle.

What made it even more special for this military mom, her husband would finally see his son after watching troops via the tube for hours on end, never seeing Lewis.

"There is just so much thankfulness for him just being alive and well," says Michelle.

By Tuesday night, Lewis Sr. and Michelle had tracked down five copies of the Marine corporal smiling and surrounded by what appears to be a crowd of thankful Iraqis.

"It makes me see that there's happiness on his face and I think he's proud of himself and we are so proud of him," says Michelle. "And its the accomplishment and the people and just the thought of the people that they helped."

The real relief for the Tatums and families across East Texas won't come, though, until the magazine is replaced by the real thing.

Dana Dixon, reporting