“Volunteer Stories from Home” Featuring Grant West

Born in Norfolk, VA on 14 Jan 1954, I was raised in Virginia Beach, VA. I attended college at Virginia Tech and received a BS degree in Forestry and Wildlife. Unable to get a job in my field, I ended up joining the Army in April 1979. 

I received a commission from OCS in Aug 1980 and was assigned to the Signal Corps. My first assignment was with the 50th Airborne Signal Battalion, Fort Bragg, NC. During this time I participated in Bright Star and was deployed to Granada. My other assignments included 2/3rd Field Artillery, Kirch Gong, GE and HHC Company Commander of the 143rd Signal Battalion, Frankfurt, GE. During this time I participated in many Reforger exercises.  I was then reassigned to the Acquisition Corps after its conception. I received a MS degree in Acquisition Management from the Florida Institute of Technology.   I went on to serve at the Signal Center, Fort Gordon, GA; Tong DeShawn, Korea fielding the Mobile Subscriber Equipment to 2nd ID and at CASCOM, Fort Lee, VA. I retired in 1999.

After retirement from the Army, I went to work for the MITRE Corporation supporting the Army G8 in the Pentagon. I eventually transferred to a different company supporting the Army CIO/G6 in the Pentagon. I was working in the Pentagon during 9-11, so I always know exactly where I was when the question is asked, “Where were you on 9-11?” I retired for good in 2017. 

Since then I have become and Master Gardener of Prince William County and I’m working on becoming a Virginia Master Naturalist in addition to volunteering as a docent with the NMUSA. 

My wife, Jolene and I have lived in our home in Woodbridge, VA for the last 17 years. I have two sons, three granddaughters and one grandson. My wife and I enjoy spending much of the summer at Smith Mountain Lake, VA.