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. Their son, Donald Wayne (Trey) West, III, was born March 19, 2007. SSGT West completed military service at Camp Minden, LA on Aug 23, 2009.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Day 107-B - Shots, Schools and Sandstorms


Soldiers from the 155th are currently working to help assess the needs of a nearby medical clinic. According to SFC Kevin Kelly, the clinic is near a school, where the soldiers were able to talk to teachers and interact with a group of students.

"We gave out a lot of toys and tons of candy to the kids. It's amazing to see how receptive they are to us, and it seems to get better every day. Although we are starting to recognize certain kids that are always coming up to us, we still don't let our guard down."

Families and friends of soldiers from Louisiana have set up a great website to collect support their soldiers' efforts to help school children in Iraq. Perhaps someone in our group has this kind of talent.

http://www.childrenofbaghdad.com
In other news, the recent combination of sand and water hasn't conjured up images of beautiful beaches in Iraq.

Describing yesterday's new sandstorm, SFC Kelly says, "It started last night and lasted well until this morning. We had people pulling observation post duty in the middle of it and it was pretty nasty for them. At one time, the wind was blowing so hard that it was actually making a TANK shake. I hope you can get some idea of how strong that is. It was also thundering, lightening and raining. During all of this, we heard B Co.'s Tactical Operations Center tent came down on them! I'm sure that was a lot of fun. Everyone spent the day trying to sweep all the dust and dirt out of their living areas."

Any word on getting phones at this location?

"From what I understand," Kelly continues, "Sen. Trent Lott's assistant called the Pentagon to ask why everyone else has phones except for us. I believe the Pentagon is supposed to call her back sometime this week to let her know the status of our requests. Everyone here can only hope that the calling campaing will finally get us some phones here."
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