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.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

New Year's Day 2006

Movement in Space
A poem by George Monta

Time, elusive arbiter of destiny,
Crucifies thought while parading through my conscience,
A value to be conserved, to never waste:
"Keep the 'oil' bright and thus be wise,
Imperfect One."

Time, concoction of demented measure seekers,
Show me the meanings of my urgent need to measure,
Why finite man, escaping to infinity,
Must count the measureless steps,
While spouting thoughtless thoughts,
Spouting scientific pratings with the assurance of priests
Who mesmerize the simple and slay the wise.

Time must be the power of man to move,
And in the moving to perceive his motions
With their meanings:
Time, existence, the framework
Of a Timeless cosmos,
Motion, heat, a bird in frightened flight,
A half remembered primal Light,
The Child's dreams and then the Night.

Oh, Man of time-bound sense,
Release your grip
On Time's deceptive surety.
Relax your hurried pace; tomorrow surely comes.
'Tis the watching makes you miss its slender hope.

Spring is tomorrow's other Life.
Awaken, bound off across the hills of dreams,
Back or forth in the sea of Time,
Not counting clouds or clods,
Man is as God if he but opens half his strangled grip.

Love not time, it's not what it seems to be:
It simply sings its web into the meshes of man's mind
Who finally dies; Time's finale.
And then the Morning's light again.

Let go of Time. It authors not one word.
It measures not extent of good or bad,
Of God, or man.
It binds man's soul to food and rent,
It keeps the Nomad in his tent.

Let go of time, breathe deep
The Power freedom's birth must bring.

The Morning Star reflects
The Song that we must sing!

© 2005 George Monta

Dr. George Monta, my friend and mentor, lives in North Carolina with his wife, Adaire. A WWII veteran of campaigns in the South Pacific, he taught in high school and college for 25 years, and pastored two churches for 12 years. Currently retired, he and Adaire now travel and teach.

Dr. Monta will help to officiate Wayne's wedding in June.
To see the Army's 2005 Year in Photos, click here.
(Hat tip to
Some Soldier's Mom.)