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.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

2007 Nutcracker Parade

The 24th Annual Nutcracker Parade is now in formation. One by one, soldiers are snapping to attention, mustering memories as they march to the beat of a distant drum.

Each Christmas since Wayne was born, our family has bought a nutcracker to guard the coming of a new year. Stationed in a position of honor, he heralds our hopes and defends our dreams. In staunch silence, he protects what we hold dear.

Two years ago, our nutcracker parade featured a soldier of honor dressed in army camouflage to welcome Wayne home three days before Christmas.

Today begins a new round of waiting. The phone has rung again. All is quiet, very quiet, on the home front...except for our prayers.