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, July 04, 2005

Day 166 - Faith, Fireworks and Freedom

This week, David McCullough’s book, 1776, tops the New York Times' non-fiction bestseller list as published by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette yesterday. McCullough, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian, chronicles the military campaigns of the American Revolution, focusing on an inexperienced George Washington and heroic citizen soldiers.

Blogger Dave Ermey cites this related excerpt, quoted by Art Katen:

By 1779, there were more Americans fighting with the British than with Washington! There were no less than 21 regiments of loyalists, estimated to total 6500-8000 men, in the British army. Washington reported a field army of 3468. About a third of Americans opposed the Revolution.

Around the corner, Villainous Company puts things in perspective:

Terror – fear – is no threat to the survival of our civilization… We should have declared war on Ignorance.

Ignorance is an enemy that never sleeps, totally without fear or remorse. It is relentless. Day in and day out, it chips away at the foundations of our society, erasing our memories, clouding our judgment, eroding our will…

But it's not just ignorance of current events that poses a danger to our way of life. For even if we manage to get the right news, how can we ever hope to put it all in perspective without a knowledge of history?

Here’s our tribute to the Spirit of Independence and to the Author of Freedom, in honor of brave Americans throughout history:

God Bless America

P.S. Today's picture of the Independence Day baptismal service was sent by SFC Kevin Kelly from FOB Dogwood. His recount of the service is a must read!