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.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Day 302 - Letter from Col. William Glasgow

The following letter to the Editor, written by Col. William Glasgow, Executive officer with the 155th Brigade Combat Team, was published online today by the Brookhaven Daily Leader.

The 155th Brigade Combat Team's deployment to Iraq is rapidly approaching its completion. Approximately 4,000 soldiers from Mississippi, Arkansas, Vermont and across the United States will be returning home to their loved ones. I wanted to write this letter just to let the folks back home know how much the 155th BCT has accomplished during its tour of duty and how much we appreciate the support our family and friends have provided.

The 155th BCT area of operations encompassed two provinces and a large portion of a third province (Karbala, Najaf and northern Babil). Tremendous successes have been attained by the soldiers of the 155th BCT. Numerous weapons caches have been found throughout the area of operations.

Approximately 35,000 artillery and mortar rounds have been discovered and destroyed by the 155th Brigade Combat Team, each one destroyed denying the enemy a potential IED (improvised explosive device). Soldiers of the 155th BCT have detained approximately 1,300 suspected insurgents, with over 500 of those being sent to Abu Gharib prison.

This is only a small example of what your soldiers have accomplished. Many humanitarian aid projects have been undertaken and completed by the 155th BCT. Endless boxes of school supplies and backpacks have made it into the grateful hands of the children of Iraq.

The 155th Brigade Combat Team has suffered casualties during its tour of duty. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers will always remain with the family members of our fallen comrades, and we will not let their sacrifice be forgotten.

In closing, I say to the family members and friends of the 155th Brigade Combat Team, you can be proud of your sons, daughters, husbands and wives who met the challenge here in Iraq and continue to "make a difference" every day. We look forward to seeing you all soon. Once again, thank you for all the support you have provided from the home front.