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 25, 2005

Day 187 - Moccasins, Mortors, Mudville and More

In case you missed SFC Kevin Kelly’s account of distributing shoes from Wayne’s supporters in Louisiana and Mississippi, it’s worth a visit. Our thanks for these pictures!
In other hot news from the Sandbox, Kevin highlights the amazing success of a recent mission by the Sappers. This is the one after which Wayne told me an IED blew up 40 yards in front of him. When an officer asked if he could drive around it, Wayne admitted, “It wasn’t a question whether I could drive around it; I just really didn’t want to!”

According to published reports, our guys captured over 100 insurgents and found large caches of weapons and explosives in the vicinity of Owesat.

Items seized and subsequently destroyed include:
(173) 60mm mortar rounds
(13) 120mm mortar rounds
(3) 122mm artillery rounds
(13) rocket propelled grenades
(2) rocket propelled grenade launchers
(65) hand grenades
(8) cans of small arms ammunition
(500) lbs of explosives
(4) mortar sights
(2) sniper rifle scopes

Tucked away in the virtual center of the Milblog community, The Mudville Gazette is one of the highest trafficked sites in the blogosphere. Under the pseudonyms Greyhawk and Mrs. Greyhawk, the TMG claims to be ‘the online voice of an American warrior and his wife who stands by him, that prefers to see peaceful change render force of arms unnecessary. Until that day, (they) stand fast with those who struggle for freedom, strike for reason, and pray for a better tomorrow.’

Whenever our blog traffic spikes, it’s nearly always because Mrs. Greyhawk has included us in one of her Dawn Patrols. Just want to say a public thanks for her links.

(Be patient when you visit Mudville. The blog takes about 3 seconds to load.)

Glad to see this positive report from Casper, Wyoming’s Star Tribune about an Iraqi official’s dramatic symbol of gratitude for support from U.S. military.

Lauren just called to tell me about a radio interview she heard featuring a new country artist, Luke Striklin. A veteran of Forward Operating Base Warrior in Iraq, Luke has released a kickin' new single, "American by God's Amazing Grace," describing what he learned and saw as a soldier.(Listen...)