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.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Day 112 - When You Least Expect It!

When the cell phone rang Saturday afternoon, I was seated at the foot of the Greek goddess Athena inside the Parthenon, a structure originally built for Tennessee's 1897 Centennial Exposition. This replica of the original Parthenon in Athens is located at the heart of Nashville's Centennial Park and serves as a monument to classical architecture.

Everybody else on the press tour who might have been disgusted at my lack of manners cheered when they found out Wayne was calling his mom a day early to wish her Happy Mother's Day!

Talking to Wayne, I felt like Athena-nearly 42 feet tall! With only 12 inches between the top of her helmet and the ceiling beams, her weight is estimated at 12 tons. She holds a 6'4" statue of Nike, goddess of victory, in her right hand. Nike, holding a wreath of victory, is preparing to crown Athena.

Imagine my surprise when a reporter from Little Rock's Channel 4, KARK, called next to say they had picked up the AP story of Shelia Biffle's coup with Paramount Cards to provide cards for the troops to send on Mother's Day, and would I please wait to open my card on camera when I landed at the airport?

Our thanks to KARK's Melissa and her cameraman, Everett, for the great job they did
capturing long distance love between a mother and her grown soldier son.

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