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, August 11, 2005

Day 202 - Serious Fun

Myron played a lot of golf last week while we vacationed in and around St. Augustine, Florida.

From what I read this morning, Army National Guard veteran Robert “B.J.” Jackson of Des Moines, Iowa, may be more serious about golf than my husband is.

According to the story in USA Today, B.J. and four other soldiers went shopping on their day off in a busy, congested area of Baghdad where lambs hang in the windows of butcher shops and trash smolders in the streets. B.J. stopped to buy his older daughter a Barbie doll before jumping back into his Humvee. As he pulled out, he hit a land mine. At the same time, a rocket-propelled grenade hurled at his truck.

The truck flew six feet in the air, pinning Jackson's legs under the dash. For more than four hours, others in his group were trapped in a firefight while frantically struggling to free him. The next thing Jackson remembers is waking at Brook Army Medical Center in San Antonio.
That day, his wife told him both his legs were gone.

His first thought today: I’m still alive.

Recovery from the 2003 injury and a set of prosthetic legs has Jackson feeling he can do almost anything. Instead, Jackson, 24, serves as national spokesman for the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes, an organization which provides recently disabled veterans with job counseling, housing and spousal support. "This will help service members, and it helps me deal with my injuries."

You can help, too. Read the story…