Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

2nd Lt. Tracy Lynn Alger

Discussion in 'Roll of Honor & Memories - All Other Conflicts' started by Biak, Mar 6, 2010.

  1. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    6,210
    Likes Received:
    822
    Army 2nd Lt. Tracy Lynn Alger

    Died November 01, 2007 serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom

    30, of New Auburn, Wis.; assigned to 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.; died Nov. 1 in Shubayshen, Iraq, of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near her vehicle.Wisconsin native killed in Iraq
    The Associated Press
    NEW AUBURN, Wis. — A New Auburn native whose passion was barrel-racing died when an improvised explosive device exploded near her Humvee in Iraq, her mother said Nov. 3.
    Army 2nd Lt. Tracy Alger, 30, died Nov. 1, according to her mother Pauline Knutson, of New Auburn.

    Army 2nd Lt. Tracy Lynn Alger - Honor The Fallen - Honoring those who fought and died in Iraq and Afghanistan - MilitaryTimes.com

    Below is an email I received Nov. 8th, 2007 that Honors Lt.Alger and shows we are all Brothers & Sisters.

    Hi all,
    I have been wanting to put out an update for the past week and a half, but I've just been swamped. I promise that I will send something shortly. What I want to do today, though, is to paint a picture for you of the face of this war.
    I took a short flight last night on a Blackhawk helicopter, from Camp Striker to FOB Dragon (Forward Operating Base). It was already dark when we got picked up - the helos landed at our LZ (landing Zone) and the crew signaled us with flashlight flashes to let us know we could approach and board. We lifted off into the dark night, lights out to avoid attention. For those of you who haven't ridden - or don't like to ride - in a helicopter, it's a bit like being on a crazy ferris wheel that does more than go round and round, and it's noisy as hell.
    I could see the lights of Baghdad below - some electric, many fires, but there were no lights for us - just the shadowy outlines of my brothers in the Blackhawk. Occasionally someone would turn his head to look out the window and I'd notice the cat-eyes glowing on the back of his helmet. There was no talking - it's too noisy, and shouting gets old quickly. Besides, your shouts only carry to the guy next to you.
    We dropped onto Dragon LZ after about a ten-minute flight, where we were expected and picked up by Soldiers with Gators who took us to the Headquarters. We dropped magazines from our weapons and cleared them on the way, and then dropped our helmets and flak vests along the wall at the HQ building.
    We all noticed, but did not dwell on the memorial set up in the Dragon assembly hall. Boots, medals in cases, rifle with helmet on top, dog tags dangling off the pistol grip, a picture of the fallen Soldier. We were here because the Rakkasans had sustained our first combat casualty. "Sustained a casualty" sounds so formal and military, I know, but that's the Army for you - cold and impersonal. We're all business, don't you know.
    As we waited for the service to begin, many of us stood around and discussed the business of the day. It's rare to have a few minutes when you simply will not be doing anything else, and crass or not, we took advantage of the opportunity to connect outside of the usual run of meetings, briefings, missions, and generally avoided talking about the fallen Soldier. But that's the Army for you - cold and impersonal.
    Eventually, the Company was formed up and stood there in front of the memorial, waiting. Waiting for what? The distinguished guests, of course. The Division Commander, a two-star general, was due in, and we couldn't start the service without him. He wasn't anything to the fallen Soldier, but he's a politician (you have to be at that level) so he came to offer his condolences. Just one more example of the bureaucracy we deal with every day, even around a memorial service. But again - that's the Army for you - cold and impersonal.
    As the service began, I noticed the precision of the procession of speakers. The Battalion commander, the Company commander, the close friends offering remembrances, the Chaplain providing guidance and words of hope for the living. But all of it timed - the chain of command and friends each get four minutes, and the Chaplain gets ten minutes. Like clockwork. So despite the emotional remembrances that made it obvious the fallen Soldier was respected and well-liked, it was obvious that we still had business to do and we were not going to linger unnecessarily. But that's the Army for you - cold and impersonal.
    I listened through it all, empathizing with my brothers in arms who had lost one so close to them, but I hadn't known the fallen Soldier, hadn't even known of the Soldier, until the fatal incident was reported up to Brigade a few days earlier. I remained composed throughout. Because like so many of my brothers, I too can be cold and impersonal.
    At the end of the remembrances, the First Sergeant called the Company to attention and began the final roll call. "Private John Smith!" he called, and Private Smith promptly sounded off with a hearty "Here, First Sergeant!" "Specialist Allen Murphy!" called the First Sergeant, and Specialist Murphy responded with a loud "Here, First Sergeant," just like Smith. "Lieutenant Alger!" he called next, and received no response. I could feel the distance between me and the deceased rapidly closing, and tears welled up in my eyes. "Lieutenant Tracy Alger!" he called again, but again there was no response from Lieutenant Alger. "Second Lieutenant Tracy Lynn Alger!" he called out for the last time, and there was still no response. Lieutenant Alger was not going to answer, and I wept for her, for her Army brothers and sisters, for her family - though I had not known her. She was one of us - one of the few who cared enough to step up when almost nobody else will - and she was gone. I wept for one I had not known, and I'm just about in tears again as I write this - but that's the Army for you.
    There were three volleys of M16 fire, and the bugler sounded Taps. At the end of Taps, the Soldiers lined up to pay their last respects, stepping up to the memorial and saluting, many of them dropping to one knee to offer a silent prayer, or drop a token of remembrance in front of Lieutenant Alger's boots. Then came the biggest fellow in the Company, a Specialist who was a bull of a man (if anyone can be considered fully a man at 21 or 22 years). He paid his respects, and as he turned from the memorial I could see tears streaming down his face, his countenance filled with anguish over his fallen sister. And that is the Army for you.
    Our first combat loss is a testament to the face of this war. We lost 2LT Tracy Alger, a bright woman of 30, to the same sort of IED that you hear about in the news. In this war, there are no front lines. There are no rear areas. When you leave the front gate of your Camp, you are in Indian country. Don't misunderstand - it's not all bad. But when it is bad, there is no discrimination.
    y'all take care, and I'll talk to you again soon.
     
    Otto and rkline56 like this.
  2. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    6,210
    Likes Received:
    822
    Tomorrow is Memorial Day and the above letter is, to me, the most poignant testament to the Soldier.

    Rest in Peace Lt. Alger

    Ne Desit Virtus
     
  3. luketdrifter

    luketdrifter Ace

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Messages:
    2,349
    Likes Received:
    303
    Don't misunderstand - it's not all bad. But when it is bad, there is no discrimination.
    Gave me chills. Buddy at work found out on Saturday that his nephew was KIA in Afghanistan. Jesus.
     
  4. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    6,210
    Likes Received:
    822
    :poppy: You will Not be Forgotten. :poppy:
     
    Clementine likes this.
  5. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    Messages:
    6,411
    Likes Received:
    854
    Location:
    The Land of 10,000 Loons
    Thanks for bumping this, Biak. The Army is a cold, impersonal machine, but it is made up of, in part, human beings. The ceremony may have been impersonal, but when it came to the roll call - the accounting of the human element - it became very personal. I imagined that moment when her name was called - no response. Called again - no response. A third time - silence. Each moment of silence a deafening blow hammering home the sense of loss. You really can't get more poignant than that.

    Thank you for sharing it. It is my loss for not having seen it back in May.
     
  6. luketdrifter

    luketdrifter Ace

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Messages:
    2,349
    Likes Received:
    303
    I come back to this thread quite often, as it has struck a chord with me. It never gets any easier to read.
     
  7. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    6,210
    Likes Received:
    822
    As do I Luke'. From the letter;
    "but I hadn't known the fallen Soldier, hadn't even known of the Soldier,"
    Somehow this resonates with me. Tracy is a year younger than my own Daughter, maybe that is why. I remember the morning when I received the email and sat there reading it. Actually trying to read it as I had to stop often. I'm hardened a little more now and although I still pause each time I read it again, I don't break down as I admit I did then. Knowing the person who wrote it brought home the danger they all were facing.
    I've found a picture I'd like to insert and a link to a Memorial page. Lieut Tracy Lynn Alger (1977 - 2007) - Find A Grave Memorial
    [​IMG]


    Second Lieutenant Alger graduated from Chetek Wisconsin High School in 1995 where she participated and excelled in many programs in the classroom and out. Tracy spent many years barrel-racing, a rodeo-like event in which horse and rider are timed as they maneuver around large barrels. She served as president of a couple of barrel-racing associations. She went on to graduate from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a degree in graphic design. She was working as a graphic artist and as a certified nursing assistant at a nursing home when in January of 2006, she decided to enlist in the United States Army. The events of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks were still on her mind and she felt this was right to do. She took her basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina and attended officer candidate school at Fort Benning, Georgia, and the United States Army Air Assault School. She transferred to Fort Campbell Kentucky a year ago, assigned to 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell. Always aspiring to be the very best she could be, she was a beloved and respected soldier and leader among her group. In the summer of 2007, her commander took a group of 50 officers on a 15-mile hike during 100-degree temperatures. Only one-third of the men finished and she was the only female officer to finish the hike. She had a goal of attending the United States Sapper School following her deployment to Iraq. Tracy was deployed to Iraq two weeks before her death where she was a platoon leader in charge of convoys that transported supplies. She didn't have to go out on all the missions, but insisted on being with her troops. She died when an improvised explosive device exploded near her Humvee.
     
  8. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    6,210
    Likes Received:
    822
    Ne Desit Virtus
    (Let Valor Not Fail)

    [​IMG]

    Never Forget
     
  9. luketdrifter

    luketdrifter Ace

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Messages:
    2,349
    Likes Received:
    303
    Biak you aren't making this easy on me. This strikes me no matter how many damn times I read it. It's not all bad, but when it's bad, it's indiscriminate.
     
  10. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    6,210
    Likes Received:
    822
    Hurts like Hell!
    I'll admit I still tear up and like the Major said in his letter, "I didn't know the fallen Soldier, didn't even know of the Soldier". Something in that email resonates deep down inside.
    In the other posts I bumped with Uncle Russ and Uncle Don, I at least have the memories of them. Their stories, jokes (Uncle Don always reminded me of Bob Newhart and in a very good way, and made damn fine Martini's!) Uncle Russ's homemade wine, carpentry skills and love of fishing & hunting.
    But with Lt. Alger I feel a Duty to remember and pass on her story. Don't know why, just do. So, every Spring and Fall I'll bump this I guess.
     
    693FA likes this.
  11. luketdrifter

    luketdrifter Ace

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Messages:
    2,349
    Likes Received:
    303
    Probably for the same reason I talk to Matt in my thread. I sometimes wonder if I'm going freaking crazy. It helps though.
     
  12. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2002
    Messages:
    9,683
    Likes Received:
    951
    The DOD publish a list of all dead in Afghanistan...I suppose the same for Iraq...Maybe one of our cousins should put a link up on this site?
     
  13. 693FA

    693FA Member Patron  

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2010
    Messages:
    501
    Likes Received:
    55
    Biak and Lukedrifter,
    Think the small snippet above said it best....and not crazy just.....well should I say Honoring them.......
    anyway keep doing it ....there be plenty of us who will read it and Honor them with you guys!!!!
     
  14. luketdrifter

    luketdrifter Ace

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Messages:
    2,349
    Likes Received:
    303
    Well worth another read, Happy Independence Day
     
  15. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    6,210
    Likes Received:
    822
    :poppy:
     
  16. luketdrifter

    luketdrifter Ace

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Messages:
    2,349
    Likes Received:
    303
    Glad I'm not the only one who visits old threads.
     
  17. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    6,210
    Likes Received:
    822
    I return many times Luke'. Just don't always say anything. Hang in there Buddy!
     
    rkline56 likes this.
  18. rkline56

    rkline56 USS Oklahoma City CG5 Patron  

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,148
    Likes Received:
    189
    Location:
    CA Norte Mexico, USA
    Wanted to pay my respects to 2nd Lieutenant Alger. An extraordinarily fine person, rare leader and officer.
     
  19. luketdrifter

    luketdrifter Ace

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Messages:
    2,349
    Likes Received:
    303
    Missed Veteran's Day. Rest in Peace, Lt. Alger.
     
  20. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    6,210
    Likes Received:
    822
    :poppy:

    Time for another read. Rest In Peace Lt. Alger
     

Share This Page