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, January 20, 2006

Minus 139 Days - Who Is Cindy Smith?

Many folks either called or emailed to comment on yesterday's post, an inspiring letter of thanks penned by Cindy Smith, which she had quietly dropped off in our mailbox Wednesday.

After having read the post, a mutual friend, Jennifer Hamner, replied she might know the mystery author:
"One Cindy Smith is a good friend of mine. The letter sounds like the Cindy I know. Her husband is Dr. Bruce Smith, and she teaches at National Park Community College.

Cindy and Bruce have three sons. One, who is doing a residency in Jackson, Miss., graduated with our son, Jonathan. Another is a lawyer in Little Rock, who graduated with our daughter, Mary. The third son still goes to medical school at Fayetteyeville.

Cindy is a wonderful person. I'll call her to ask if she wrote the letter, then have her call you if she did."
A few hours later, a meek voice on my cell phone simply said, "Hi, this is Cindy Smith."

"Hi, Cindy. This is Wayne's Mom," I answered. "We were so blessed by your letter, Wayne asked me to give you his cell number so that he can thank you personally."

"I just felt like we don't say 'thank you' enough," she continued, "and since I see the sign when pass by your house, I decided I could at least thank Wayne."

Cindy cried. I cried.

And yes, it really does make a difference when people take time to say thanks. I've got a few 'thank you's' to catch up on myself.
A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue,
but the parent of all other virtues.
~ Cicero