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 22, 2005

Day 213 - Alive at the Adolphus and Arboretum

Plenty of good news floated through the airwaves this weekend while we were in Dallas. Although we're late posting Good News Sunday, even Connor, Wayne’s three-month-old nephew, seems to have gotten word exciting things are happening!

News sources around the country reported an Associated Press story about the 155th’s humanitarian missions, especially their adopt-a-school and orphanage projects.

Across Iraq last week, American forces continued to assist Iraqis in re-establishing power facilities, restoring sewerage elements, refurbishing schools, as well as constructing courthouses, schools and police stations.

Meanwhile, Myron and I continued to make new friends with the world-class staff at The Adolphus hotel in Dallas. Under the leadership of Managing Director Tom Garcia, Adolphus hospitality begins the moment guests arrive. Throughout our stay, we were blanketed with knowledgeable, professional courtesy. Special thanks to David Davis, Director of Public Relations, for his gracious guidance.

Recently named one of the world’s ‘best places to stay’ by Conde Nast, the Adolphus comprises 428 guestrooms, featuring European lithographs, antique-style furnishings, Internet access, minibars, luxurious linens, deep tubs plus designer toiletries and plush bathrobes.
We stayed in one of 17 tastefully appointed suites, which range from 950 to more than 2,500 square feet. Guests can choose from corporate suites, with full kitchens and dining rooms–perfect for extended stays–or two-bedroom suites, with rooms opening onto spacious parlors. Some even open onto a private Garden Terrace. Many have full wet bars, deluxe marble bathrooms off of each bedroom, sitting rooms and separate entrances.
Sunday afternoon, we toured 66 acres of flowing gardens and captivating statuary known as Dallas Aboretum. August heat convinced us to take advantage of the tram ride. While we drank fresh lemonade, our tour guide explained the history of the former DeGolyer and Camp family estates.
The Arboretum’s biggest annual event is Dallas Blooms, held in late March through early April. Visitors from around the world see a spectacular display of:
* 400,000 spring-blooming bulbs including tulips, daffodils, hyacinth and Dutch iris,
* 20,000 azaleas, 80,000 pansies, violas, poppies, plus
* Thousands of other spring-blooming annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees.

The thing we look forward to seeing most right now is one 22-year-old, brown-eyed soldier!