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, January 19, 2006

Minus 140 Days - Cindy Smith Thanks Wayne

Someone named Cindy Smith signed the letter she dropped off a letter in our mailbox yesterday. As far as we can tell, Myron and I don't know the woman who penned these words of thanks to Wayne:

You do not know me, and I don't actually know you, but I have seen the "Welcome Home" sign in your yard, and I feel compelled to write this letter to you.

I want to thank you for your service to our country
and to the world.

Because of you and thousands of men and woman who have gone before you, the United States remains a free country. Because of you, I can write you this note; I can worship my God in the church I choose; I can send my children to the schools I choose so that they can get the education for the jobs THEY choose, not the jobs chosen for them. Because of you, I can do anything I am brave enough to try, because YOU were BRAVE enough to serve. Because of you, there has not been another terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11. Because of you, there is the hope of freedom and democracy in the middle east.

Thank you for protecting me and my family. Thank you for serving our great United States. I have prayed for you and all the servicemen and women, and I will continue to do so until all are home safely with their families. I am thankful that you are now home with your family, who also sacrificed during your absence.

I thank you on behalf of all free people in the United States and around the world. May God bless you and your family.

Cindy America,
Home of the Free, Because of the Brave
(Posted on Mudville Gazette and Basil's Blog.)