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, September 26, 2005

Day 250 - New Release on Life

Happy Birthday to Wayne’s Uncle Blair today, seen in this picture with his lovely wife, Leslie, at Will and Mandy’s wedding in Dallas last weekend. Rumor is he was browsing a Levenger store in Boston over the weekend.

Two weeks ago, while all eyes were on Hurricane Katrina, something extraordinary happened. In a farmhouse south of Baghdad, an American hostage was rescued by U.S. troops after being held for 10 months in a dark underground concrete cell. We first learned of Hallum’s release from the milblog gurus over at Mudville Gazette.

Wayne dinged in online last night, not long after we had watched Ray Hallum's interview with Leslie Stahl on 60 Minutes. Taped two weeks after his release, Hallums said at the conclusion of the interview he hadn’t heard from any government officials.

“That’s small potatoes compared to being here with my family now,” he said quietly.

Ray’s daughter, Carrie, faithfully maintained this web site during the ordeal. You can still send a note of encouragement to Ray at P.O. Box 947; Westminister, CA 92684.