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, August 16, 2005

Day 207 - Foot Stompin' Glad!

Recently, Wayne told us Alpha Company relinquished their group bunking quarters to make room for additional office space. Soldiers are now paired in ‘two-man cans,’ trailers designed to give the men more privacy. Despite the benefits, the move was bittersweet for some who described the old space as ‘home.’

Speaking of home, Mississippi soldiers who deployed in January are nearing the end of their rotation for Rest and Relaxation.

Wayne contacted us yesterday with news of his leave dates next month. Because Lauren is attending summer school at LSU-Shreveport, Wayne’s plans to spend his family time in Louisiana, our home before we moved to Arkansas.

Although they won’t be coming to Hot Springs, we’re excited about our visit with Wayne and his fiancee, Lauren, as well as the opportunity to meet her parents for the first time.

While we're there, we'll probably take in Louisiana Folklife Festival, an annual showcase of Louisiana’s traditional culture. Hosted by the City of Monroe, the Festival celebrates a dynamic people whose zest for living is derived from the rich heritage of many countries, cultures, and ethnic groups.

Before he returns to Iraq, Wayne and Lauren will travel to Seaside, Florida, to finalize plans for their wedding next summer.