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.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Day 230 - What's Your Story?

Everybody loves a good story. This week, they’re everywhere.

My friend Brenda Arego called this morning, telling stories how everybody at her daughter’s Catholic school Open House last night pooled their resources to help Katrina evacuees.

“Since the Red Cross doesn’t pay for transportation, the Sisters of Mercy bought a plane ticket to fly an 87-year-old woman to live with her sister in California. Then we all chipped in enough money to help buy bus tickets to San Antonio for a young mother and her three children. And three men worked together to find a job for a welder.”
Many more stories are being told through the lenses of photojournalists. Please make time to soak up the messages of disaster and hope from these 55 images collected and presented by Poynter Online.

While most of America is swamped with the work of recovery, military bloggers continue to tell stories from Iraq. Last night, I ran across this riveting account of a strange roadblock, scripted by soldier blogger Danjel Bout, a young newlywed who joined the Army to help pay for college.
As our vehicles came around the sharp corner, we ran into something wholly unexpected, a neat row of rock and brick sprawled across the road. The impromptu roadblock had a strange castaway symmetry to it; it brought to mind long summer days spent building little dams in the local streams… The HMMWVs could hurdle these barriers with ease, but there was something slightly ominous about this thin string of material laced across the road…The dismounts moved into position as a middle aged gentleman working on the corner started to smile, then slowly walked towards our cordon. (Keep reading!)
What’s your story today?