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.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Day 188 - You Get the Picture

Poynter’s Leading Lines author Gregory Favre describes pictures as the purest form of journalism, saying, “They capture a scene in a fraction of a second, opening the door, in that instant, into the soul of the subject for others to see; images frozen in time forever.” (See his gallery of historical photos.)

While photojournalists are capturing history with their lenses, artists in Iraq are painting a picture of a country's evolution with their brushes.

Soldier blogger Lance Frizell recently posted this painting, sold on his military base as one of many works birthed from the sense of a nation's newfound liberty.

Another Iraqi painting he posted in May illustrates the hand of America delivering captives from a wooden crate. Press secretary for the Republican Caucus of Tennessee in civilian life, Frizzell says much of Iraq's emerging art conveys a common theme of America as a champion of civil rights.

“That’s the way we are seen by most Iraqis,” he explains, “because they are perceptive.”

Word continues to spread of the 150th’s remarkably successful mission last week. We’re even more grateful all our soldiers returned unharmed, despite the fact a 5-ton vehicle was disabled by a roadside bomb.

And I’m glad we don’t have images of that.