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, July 14, 2005

Day 176 - Make Like a Tree and Leave

As as regular reader of posts to the 155th National Guard Family discussion board, I'm aware how slippery leave dates can get. You can imagine what an emotional roller coaster families experience (especially those with children!) when they think their soldier is coming home on a certain date, then the date changes.

During the past few days, we've heard bits and pieces from Wayne about the "flexibility" of his scheduled leave in August. For the most part, everybody in our family, including Lauren, seems to have the attitude, 'as long as he's alive and well, we'll take the leave whenever we can get it.'

I'd hate to be in SFC Kevin Kelly's place, having to schedule the leave dates:

We finally got our leave dates for August and that is always a fiasco. Everyone wants dates and have told someone else when they wanted, but I’ve never heard of it. So when I slot them for the dates, there is always some people that are mad because they didn’t get what dates they wanted. I had some people thinking they had August, but they actually had September so that was kind of hard to explain. When it was all over and done with, I think I got everyone put where their dates requested will somehow work out for them. I know how important it is for people to get home for anniversaries, kids birthdays and everything else, but you can’t always get everyone where they want. I did have many of the people come say thank you for working with them which always makes you feel good. I am so glad that I got to come to work for A Co. I actually feel like I’m helping the soldiers and doing something worthwhile rather than just sitting there typing on a computer. Makes you feel a little bit more pride.

For now, we look forward to hearing from Wayne to find out exactly when his leave will actually occur!