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.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Day 203 - Until

Yesterday, we shared the story of courageous National Guard veteran Robert “B.J.” Jackson, a soldier who lost his legs in a 2003 firefight on his day off in Baghdad.

Today, we send our best wishes to Sgt. Michael Stafford, 33, of Shannon, Mississippi. His wife, Jessica, said her husband was the only soldier injured in a convoy when a bomb exploded near the lead truck he was driving. Stafford lost his foot.

Jessica is waiting stateside until her husband returns from a U.S. hospital in Germany.

The night Wayne flew to Kuwait, he called from the tarmac just before takeoff. The last words we exchanged were not good-byes. We simply said, “Until.”

Hat tip to Shelia Biffle for this stirring tribute to our soldier heroes and all the families who await their return.

The music, "Homeward Bound" from The Road Home is sung by the Choirs of Brigham Young University.

The slide presentation is titled, “Until Then…”