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, August 15, 2005

Day 206 - Monday Muse

I’m always amazed at the number of email responses generated from Good News Sundays.

Ellen Nuckolls, a musician friend from Pine Bluff, Arkansas, sent a great story about Denzell Washington’s (December, 2004) visit to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. While there, the popular actor took part in a Purple Heart ceremony, presenting medals to three Army soldiers recovering from wounds received in Iraq. Sometime later, Mr. Washington made a substantial donation to the Fisher House Foundation, an organization that provides a network of ‘comfort homes’ which are essentially the military version of Ronald McDonald Houses.

Doug Toups, one of Wayne’s mentors, was particularly impressed by the message of “Until Then…”

We agreed it was worth an encore, just in case anybody missed it.

Robin Mullins Boyd posted her own long list of successes in Iraq, concluding, “While Saddam Hussein was in power, children in lower economic regions attended school in mud and reed huts. Iraq was not known for its sanitation systems. Most communities relied on slit trenches which left sewage pooling in the street. Many Iraqis lived without fresh water. When it rained, sewage ran through the streets. For those of us that have lived our lives in comfortable homes with running water and toilets, it is difficult to imagine living in a situation like that. Thanks to our soldiers and the sacrifices they have made, the Iraqis are enjoying some of the benefits that we take for granted. Is there anything nobler than that?”

Thanks to everybody who takes time to post a comment or send an email. Wayne reads each one, and we all appreciate your love and support.

Have a great week!