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.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Day 205 - Good News Sunday

The same day we posted our story about National Guard veteran Robert “B.J.” Jackson, First Sergeant Kevin Kelly shared news of another remarkable recovery.

Sergeant Wong, a soldier from Camp Dogwood who lost his legs in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attack, is home in California, up and walking around on his new prosthetic legs.

SGT Wong is getting faster and faster…and may wear out (the new legs) in the first year. I think everyone was joking when they asked how long the warranty was for. He had said he would be walking again as soon as he got home in the states. I did mention that he was also given his American citizenship while he was still unconscious, but his father was present. Looks as though SGT Wong is taking his first steps as an American in great strides. Everyone is always glad to get good news about people who are hurt while serving over here. Keep him and all the others in your prayers.

Is it all worth it? Mohammed is a 35-year-old dentist who graduated from Baghdad University in 1995. Refusing to serve in Saddam's army, he quit his job six years ago. Now, he has returned to work in Samawa City in southwest Iraq. Read Mohammed’s response to Cindy Sheehan.

In other news, Kelly says soldiers from C Company hit the jackpot during a search earlier this week:
I’m not exactly sure everything they found, but by listening to the radio as they called in their finds, it seemed pretty big. I heard them talking about mortar rounds, rockets, ammunition and all other things. It doesn’t matter if it was one piece or 1,000 pieces; it still means that they found something that can’t be made into an IED. They did a great job today and hopefully I will be able to find out exactly what they found. reports these and other successes across Iraq this week:
Nearly 18,000 children will begin classes in 43 refurbished schools. More than 1200 children have received medical screenings during the last four weeks as part of a joint effort of Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces.

In Baghdad, USAID made a significant grant to the International Press Center.

New water projects and new police facilities are being constructed to the north.

Citizens in Baghdad and Ramadi were just some of the Iraqi citizens who assisted Coalition and Iraqi Forces in locating weapons caches this week, taking an active part in securing their communities and creating an environment that will foster more reconstruction and increased stability.
Wayne sent a few Instant Message blips over the weekend. Not much news, but we were glad to hear from him.