Staff SGT Donald Wayne West, Jr., enlisted in the United States Army National Guard on September 11, 2001. As part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Company A of the 150th Combat Engineers served active duty Aug 29, 2004, until Dec 30, 2005. SSGT West returned to college in January, 2006. He married Lauren Ritchie June 9, 2006, at Seaside, Fla., and they have three children. SSGT West completed military service at Camp Minden, LA on Aug 23, 2009.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Day 35 - Commander's Corner

To Friends and Families of the Mississippi Rifles:

Most of the battalion have moved to our position in Iraq. Many moved forward early January and almost everyone else moved forward late January and early February.

Everyone is doing fine. Our soldiers have adjusted to the environment and are doing a great job. Many of soldiers conducted missions during the elections by providing security at key sites. I flew back to Kuwait and moved our convoy forward about the same time period. We made it with little problems.

For security reasons, I cannot provide our exact location, except to say the Anti-Iraqi Forces are active here. There is not so much activity now as it was when I was here in October, but this is still a dangerous area. We are out conducting daily missions to improve the stability of this region. You should be proud of what our soldiers are doing. On January 30, 2005, Iraq held its first free election, and our soldiers were a part of this historical event.

We will continue to improve our living conditions as time goes. The mail will start running in a few days, so that should not be an issue. We are going to improve our Internet capability and phones, so we can communicate to you on a regular basis.

I will continue to update everyone on our website and through e mails. Thank you for your continued support.

LTC John Rhodes
1-155 IN BN