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.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Day 150 - Sole Supporters

Back on Day 117, Wayne talked about how many Iraqi children have no shoes.

"The skin on the bottom of their feet is nearly an inch thick," he marveled. "It has to be, so that they can walk on the rocks and hot sand. To have shoes is a very big deal. I wish we could collect some shoes."

Big-hearted folks in Louisiana went to work the next day making plans:

I am Rebecca's sister in law, Janet Moore. Our school has collected a few boxes of mostly new flip-flops and some almost new sandals and white tennis. I'm giving the other shoes that I didn't think would be good for summer in the desert to some other organizations in town. Since our priest thought it was a good idea to have a shoe drive at our church, it will be the last weekend in June. I hope it will go well, even though so many people are out of town for the summer.

Depending on the response, I might be asking for suggestions of other things the children and people need that we might be able to help with.

Thanks for all you and A Co. do. We pray for y'all daily.

And today, we got this email from a precious Mississippi member of the 155th Family Readiness Group.

Please tell your son that I just sent out two big boxes of shoes to him. I have more coming, but I gotta take a break! When I said shoes everyone came running! I think it's great...I've been boxing and boxing. People from the community and our support group helped with shipping. I really appreciated that. I hope this helps, and I feel so much better to get them out of my way, lol!!! Thought I'd let you know.
Amanda Hudson

Well, Wayne-I think your kids will have some shoes very shortly!

This is too cool. I'm so excited about this shoe drive. I really wish you could see the look on these kids' faces when we come driving by their homes and when we give something to them. They light up like Christmas trees! If I'm able to, I'll be sure to take picture when we hand them out. Thank you so much for your hard work. You're a blessing.

 Posted by Hello