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, January 02, 2006

Count Your Blessings, Name Them One by One

One of my Baptist-preacher-grandfather's favorite hymns was
"Count Your Blessings."

This morning, while searching 2005 travel photos to use with a story,
I ran across this picture taken last April at the studio of artist
J. D. Challenger in Taos, New Mexico.

A huggy, Santa sort of guy, Challenger’s spirit is reflected in his eyes—-deep blue pools of compassion.

When he saw me standing teary-eyed across the room, Challenger walked over, put his hand on my shoulder and promised to add Wayne’s name to the hundreds of other soldiers already posted on his Blessing Wall.

I’ll email him today to let him know how very blessed we really are to have Wayne safely home again.

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be disheartened, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

Count your blessings,
name them one by one,
Count your blessings,
see what God hath done!
Count your blessings,
name them one by one,
And it will surprise you
what the Lord hath done.