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, July 06, 2005

Day 168 - Off Base

Boxing?! I thought. What in the world is Wayne doing boxing? I knew he and several other guys had been working out, but this was a little much.

"Some of the guys organized boxing matches on the 4th," he explained in an Instant Message conversation, "and I got to get in the ring."

Last I heard, Wayne was whooppin' up on SFC Kelly in a ping pong tournament, but this is the first I had heard of soldiers boxing on base.

"I tore this one guy's face up pretty good," he continued, "but he tagged me back enough to make me wobble."

My mind raced, trying to think of something to say that didn't sound so much like a little kid's momma. All I could say was 'Really?'

"I'm kinda sore this morning," Wayne admitted, "and my left eye is a little swollen, but other than that, I'm OK."

What does he expect me to say...Congratulations?!

"Have you told Lauren about this?" I typed furiously. "Who set this whole thing up?... Are you going to do it again?"

A minute went by. Silent screen.

OK. I've blown it. He's shut down on me, and thinks I'm just being Momma.

"I'm just kidding!!!!" Wayne finally typed back. "I'm ROFL!! Gotcha!!!"

Now that's Wayne.