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 26, 2005

Day 219 - The Eagle Has Landed

About 1:20 this morning, 400 soldiers landed at DFW Airport to begin their 15 days of rest and recuperation.

“I bet I didn’t sleep one hour during the entire 12-hour flight from Frankfort,” Wayne said when we talked to him at sun-up this morning. “After we landed, it seemed like it took forever to get through customs until I could go see my sweetie. As soon as I rounded the corner, Lauren was the first person I saw. I dropped everything, ran to meet her and lifted her off the ground. Everybody else started clapping, cheering and whistling. It was great.”

Wayne and Lauren will spend the next few days visiting extended family in Louisiana. Myron and I will see them after we return from Florida.
Last night, we bedded down in our ocean view room at Amelia Island Plantation. Located on 1350 acres, the AAA-Four Diamond property comprises three 18-hole championship golf courses & 23 clay tennis courts. It also features a health and fitness center, award-winning youth programs (run by a crackerjack director!) fine shops, a full service spa and excellent choices of dining options.

Myron is enjoying his first round of golf on the Ocean Links course. Later this afternoon, he'll squeeze in another nine holes at Oak Marsh.

I opted for a seaweed wrap and stress massage at the resort Spa. Tomorrow, we'll tell you much more about Wayne and more about what makes Amelia Island Plantation a unique resort, even though Wayne and Lauren are not here!