2nd Lt. Tracy Lynn Alger

United States Army
KIA 01 November 2007, Iraq
Tributes

Memorial Page Established by-Tanya Leo

Tracy Lynn Alger was born June 21, 1977 to Pauline
Symbal of Stanley, Wisconsin.  She was a 1995 graduate of Chetek High
School and continued to further her education at UW-River Falls, graduating
with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business and marketing.  She
worked as a graphic designer and certified nursing assistant before
enlisting in the United States Army in January 2006.  

Tracy was a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army and assigned to the 3rd
Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st
Airborne Division (Air Assault), also known as the Rakkasans, based at Fort
Campbell, KY.  She graduated from The United States Army Air Assault
School in 2007 prior to her departure to Iraq.  Originally stationed in
Fort Story, VA, Tracy requested to be transferred to the 101st Airborne
Division where she served as a distribution platoon leader for her
battalion.  Tracy was killed in action on Thursday, 01 Nov 07, in
Shubayshen, Iraq of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device (IED)
detonated near her vehicle.  

Tracy's awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple
Heart, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Overseas Service Medal, National Defense
Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service ribbon,
and Weapons Qualification, M4, Expert.

July 22, 2013
Kenneth Henry
On the 28th day of September in 2007, at about 2330 hours....after a long day of seeing
soldiers for pre-deployment....A beautiful , female soldier walked into my office in the SRP
building of Fort Campbell.  Her name is Tracy Alger. We smiled and talked about her having
to have waited so long to get done, and she told me a little about herself as I went along
with my work. I learned that she had a three year old daughter named Skylar (sp?) whom
she dearly loved; and that she loved horses...specifically barrel-racing. I also learned that
she was a graphic artist.
I was immediately taken by her beauty and complexity, her love of life and her "
spunk".  Of the thousands of wonderful people I met, she stands out as a prime
example of sacrifice for love. When the future looks rough, on a good day, I am reminded of
Tracy. I hope that her family is dealing with her loss HERE and that they rest, assured, that
she is waiting for them at the end of their days , at the close of this life's requirements. She
is in God's hands now and forever. Her love of life has never , nor will it ever, fade from
those whom she touched with her life.
VR and most sincerely,  Kenneth (Ken) Henry

October 31, 2012
Katrina Grimes
Tracy was my friend. She was an Army natural and a sweet soul. We completed our entire
initial officer training together, and ensured we got the same duty station to FT Campbell.
Our first month at Campbell we spent a lot of time looking for a beauty salon and church
that we both liked, and we found both. The last time I saw Tracy was before I was to deploy.
We sat in church holding hands and crying over the song "Closer than a
Brother". I miss her year long, but this time of year I miss her so much it hurts. I will
talk about her everywhere I go, and do my part to make sure see is never forgotten.

I love you friend and I miss you every day.

November 11, 2011

Mark Kinders
Veterans Day, 2011: Today my current university, Northeastern State University in
Oklahoma, is joining 180 other universities across the nation, including UW-River Falls, in
reading the names of the 6,200 service men and women who were lost in the War on Terror.
I have specifically asked for the privilege of speaking Lt. Alger's name, both as a veteran
and as a UWRF alumnus. I did not know her personally, although he attended school at
UWRF during my tenure in the administration there, as well as at the time of her loss to us.
Lt. Alger, you will always live in the hearts and memories of all veterans, not only on
Veterans Day, but every day. Thank you for your service, and thank you to your loved ones,
too, for their sacrifice.

November 10, 2011
SSG (RET) Derek R. James
It seems like yesterday you ask me if I would supply the chips for our meeting which we
had everyday. I must say that you was one Hell of a Leader and FRIEND!!! In the worst of
times you SMILED, and made your Soldiers feel better. I am retired now and times have
been a little rough, but when I think of you I always seem to pick myself up and move on
with life. Just what you would have told me LT!!!! You will always be LOVED and MISSED
Ma'am.   
                       
                       Nomad 8 Out

October 14, 2011
Kathleen Juzwiak Kitchen
You were always there for me when we were young. You and I were so close, and I will
never forget you. The last time i saw you was in 5th grade before you moved away. I hope
to see you  in the heavens again someday.

November 2, 2010
Clark Sneed
Miss you, Tracy.

November 01, 2010
Tanya Leo
Dear sis,

You are missed each and every day.  It is so hard to believe it has been 3 years ago today
that you departed this world to spend eternity with our Heavenly Father.  You are missed so
much by so many.  I love you!!

Love your little sister,
Tanya

November 01, 2010
SGT WALLY C HOLT
WELL TODAY MAKES THREE YEARS SINCE MY LT WAS WAS KILLED WHEN OUR
TRUCK STRUCK IED IN IRAQ.I WAS HERE ENLISTED RIGHT HAND MAN AND HERE
GUNNER. SHE WAS ONE HELL OF A LEADER. SHE WAS AN OFFICER WHO WAS
WILLING TO LEARN WHAT SHE MIGHT NOT ALREADY HAVE KNOWN. IF IT MEANT
MAKING HERE AND HER SOLDIERS BETTER FOR THE TASK OR MISSION AT HAND.
SHE WAS A FEMALE IN FOREIGN LAND FOR SURE BEING FORWARD SUPPORT FOR
BEST INFANTRY THE ARMY HAS TO OFFER 3-187. BUT NO ONE COULD SAY SHE DIDN'T
DESERVE TO BE THERE OR WAS OF ANY LESS ABILITY THAN ONE OF THE GUYS. SHE
LEAD RUNS FROM THE FRONT AIR ASSAULT FORM THE FRONT AND SHOT WITH THE
BEST OF THEM SHE WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT WEAPONS AND HOW TO BREAK THEM
DOWN CLEAN THEM PUT THEM BACK TOGETHER AND DEPLOY THEM. NOT ONLY HOW
TO DEPLOY THEM BUT TO THERE FULL POTENTIAL. SHE HAD BEEN BEHIND THE M107
BARRET FLAWLESS LIKE SHE HAD OWNED OPERATED ONE FOR 20 YEARS. M2
BROWNING MACHINE GUN NO PROBLEM SHE WOULD TEAR TARGETS APART NO
DOUBT HAD SHE !
HAD THE CHANCE TO ENGAGE THE ENEMY FACE TO FACE INSTEAD OF THE WAY WE
DID SHE WOULD HAVE HAD NO PROBLEMS HANDLING HER SELF. I REMEMBER FIRST
TIME WITH HER AT RANGE TEACHING HER TO USE AN ACOG SIGHT SHE SHOT 39 OF
40 SHE WALKED BACK ALL HAPPY WITH THIS AS THIS WAS VERY IMPRESSIVE BUT
BEING HER GUNNER AND MESSING WITH HER I SAID WELL MA'AM I NEED TO CHANGE
TRUCKS NO ONE IN MY TRUCK WILL SHOOT LESS THAN 40 OF 40 KNOWING MY
DRIVER JUST SHOT 39 AS WELL AND MESSING WITH HER SHE TOOK IT TO HEART
TURNED AROUND WENT BACK TO FIRING LINE AND FIRED 40 OF 40 AND NEVER SHOT
LESS AGAIN THAT I RECALL 2LT TRACY LYNN ALGER YOU WAS A SOLDIERS LEADER
ONE WHO WE WOULD HAVE FOLLOWED ANY WHERE WITH OUT QUESTION YOU WILL
NEVER BE FORGOTTEN

May 26, 2010
SGT Jess Starks
Tracy was my college roommate for 2 years.  

She was on the Rodeo Team, a die-hard barrel racer and she helped me with my mare Timex
when I had issues- she even rode her for the end of the summer one year so Timex would
be ready for me to run at the beginning of the rodeo season.  I still have Timex and run
barrels on her every few years and she jumps right back into it with gusto, probably due
mostly to Tracy's training.  My heart was always way more in the breakaway roping than the
barrel racing.  

Tracy was a huge neat freak, and was always on me to clean up my messes and piles in the
apartment.  

One of the things I smile about was when I would hear my alarm go off first and I would
reset it, and then hers would go off (we shared a room) and I would jump up and get in the
shower quick before she did.  She took forever in the bathroom.  Then she would accuse me
of jumping in there on purpose and I would deny it.  Every day this happened.  She didn't
really get too upset with me because she knew she took forever in there.  We would jam out
to Kid Rock while we got ready for class.  She was the Polish girl who would make the
Perogies (cabbage rolls) and I was the Irish girl who would make the Corned Beef 'n'
Cabbage, and we would stink up the house with our cooked cabbage smells.  The other 2
roommates would hate it but we would laugh and make it anyway.  

I traveled with Tracy and her mom, Pauline, to a barrel racing jackpot or two.  Her mom was
always calling for her and they would talk for hours on the phone every week.  It was really
nice to see such a close relationship between mother and daughter.  They were good
buddies.  I met Tanya once or twice and she was really nice, too.  A great family of women.

I always wished I had seen or talked to her before her deployment but I had no idea she had
joined the military.  I actually swore into the Army National Guard the day after she was
killed.  Weird.  I heard about it the night before I shipped to Basic.  It was very unnerving and
I couldn't tell anyone in my family about it because I thought it was a really bad omen.  I
couldn't go to the memorial service because I was in Basic.  

She was a really hard worker.  A natural leader, president of the Rodeo Club in college, other
organizations later.  People listened when she spoke.  We didn't always get along because
our styles were different, but she was always there for me with a shirt for me to borrow or a
makeup tip, or a pointer for running barrels.  A very good person.  

I think of Tracy often, and since I just returned from a deployment to Iraq this spring, she is
even more on my mind this Memorial Day.  I send her mother, sister, and other loved ones
the very strongest wishes for their peace.  

Whenever I am at a rodeo and I hear a family member scream at their barrel racer,
"PUSH!!!!!!" I think of Tracy and smile.  She was ALWAYS pushing.

-Jess Starks

March 14, 2010
pedro garay USMC 1972 1976
God be you may the lord forever be your everlasting light  R.I.P

November 03, 2009
Joe Martin
I attended Transportation School in a class alongside Tracy's.  Since then I transferred my
commission to the Navy, where I just made Lieutenant (O-3).  Since the first two promotions
of officers are done based on time in service, there is sayings of how you only have to "fog
the mirror" to get promoted.  Tracy's passing made me think differently about that, and what
follows is an email I sent to my classmates at the Navy Supply Corps School before my
wetting down--a party to celebrate one's promotion:

Foxtrot,

Concerning the whole “fogging the mirror” thing…  It may be all you have to do to get
promoted, but the responsibility-and the pay-increases anyway.

Tonight we will celebrate my “automatic” promotion.  But don’t ever take those for granted.  I
don’t want to make a speech, because I’d choke up, but this is what I’ll be thinking about
tonight.

In Iraq I learned that knowing your job and being good at it, certainly tips the scales in your
favor.  That said, at the end of the day, the difference between who gets to laugh at what a
bad shot the enemy is, and who does not make it home, is sometimes just a matter of luck or
fate.

While an Army second lieutenant, I had the honor of participating in a funeral at Arlington
National Cemetery for Brig. Gen. Walter Titus, a retired officer that I’d known in California.  
Walking through the “garden of stone” in my Army dress blues in the late summer of 2007, I
realized two things:  First, people in uniform there become a sort of weird tourist attraction.  
As I walked past, people touring the cemetery would stop what they were doing and start
taking pictures of me. More ominously, the further I walked, the more I was struck by the
number of second lieutenants there are resting in Arlington.  When it comes to officers dying
in combat, Army and Marine second lieutenants seem to have the market cornered.  Being a
month away from making first lieutenant, it made an impression on me.  Many “butter bars”
never live long enough to enjoy even one automatic promotion.  

The next month, October 2007, I got my silver bar, my wife arranged for a cake, and we
hosted a wet down at the Officers Club in Ft. Eustis, VA.  With what I’d seen in Arlington
fresh in my mind, I told my friends that we were not only celebrating an automatic promotion
for me, but having a party for all those second lieutenants, ensigns, first lieutenants and
lieutenants junior grade whose ultimate sacrifice precluded them from enjoying their own
promotion party.  Two weeks later, I learned of the combat death of a classmate from
Transportation Officer Basic Course, Second Lieutenant Tracy Lynn Alger.  She had been in
Iraq two weeks at the time of her death.

My official date of rank, November 1, 2009, falls on the second anniversary of Tracy’s death,
and tonight I will toast her, and celebrate her life and the lives of all those who never got to
see their automatic promotion.  I pray that my you may enjoy all your promotions, automatic
and otherwise, and that we all do well with the added responsibility that comes with them.    
R/

LT Joe Martin

July 21, 2009
Frank Bay
In Honor Of Tracey Lynn Alger
I didn't see any comments on your page in the Chippewa Valley press so I thought I would
add this but I was directed here, It doesn't where I say it it only matters that it's said.  
AIRBORNE Mam!  A soldier isn't dead unless they are forgotten, you will not be.  You will
forever have your knees in the Breeze and you will join God on the right side as
Paratroopers are Gods Honor Guards.  AIRBORNE!!  An old Paratrooper
Vietnam 1965 to 1968!

July 19, 2009
Penny
In Honor Of Tracy Lynn Alger
I never met you. I never spoke to you. I never watched you laugh or saw you cry. But you
protected me, my family, my freedom. You put on the uniform so I wouldn't have to. You
never met me, never spoke to me, never watched me laugh or saw me cry;yet you fought for
me. I will meet you in heaven, I will speak your name, I will laugh for you and I will cry for
your loved ones.


March 23, 2008
Shannon Mattner (Brown)
There are so many wonderful memories that I have from
growing up with Tracy. Family Weddings, and running around Uncle Teddy
and Aunt Bernice's farm. Those are memories that I will hold on to
forever. I'm so very proud of my cousin Tracy. You are greatly missed.

Jan 25, 2008
SFC Rod Brewer
Christmas in Arlington... Rest easy, sleep well my
brothers and sisters. Know the line has held, you job is done. Rest easy,
sleep well. Others have taken up where you fell, the line has held.
Peace, peace, and farewell. From Arlington National Cemetery. Tracy, You
Will Not Be Forgotten... Rod.

Jan 22, 2008
1LT Jeremy Haynes
LT Alger and I attended Air Assault School together
shortly before our deployment. I can recall slowing down on Mile 8 of the
12 mile road march at Air Assault School and hearing Tracy saying,
"Keep it moving Rakkasan." She was extremely physically fit and was full of
motivation. Tracy & I joked with one another occasionally as well as
offered each other advice. We spoke briefly before deployment and we
told one another to be safe. I am deeply saddened for her lost & my
sympathy and prayers goes out to her family, friends, and Soldiers. Tracy was
a great Soldier and an outstanding person.
LT Jeremy Haynes

Jan 7, 2008
Lynn Craig, Whiskey Blue Farms
For those that knew Tracy, how lucky we are.  I bought
Gettum from her a few years ago and every month or so she would send me
emails of jokes, causes and just nice little notes about her progress
in the military.  She never complained and always was more worried
about me and those wonderful horses.  I'm riding this year with Gettum for
Tracy taught me another lesson.  Hold on to your dreams and do what you
feel you must.  We will never forget her.  And Tracey's mom, thank you
for bringing up such a wonderful person, I will think of you often and
hope you will find peace.  


Nov 24, 2007
Zac Johnson
Tracy I didn't know you all that well, but from what I
did you were a extraordinary person. I have to say I am very proud of
you and thank you for serving our country. I know you are gone, but it
is great to know that an angle like you is watching over all of us and
would do whatever you needed to help out and be there for any of us. You
will be greatly missed! Love, Zac

Tanya Leo
Tracy was not only a dedicated soldier but the best
sister that anyone could ask for.  Words cannot describe the respect and
love I have for my sister.  Although she has been called home, she will
live on in the hearts of those she touched here on earth.  I anxiously
look forward to the day that I can see her once again.  I love you
Tracetta!  


Nov 23, 2007
Steve and Lil
Tracy was a very dedicated soldier and paid the
ultimate sacrifice for our country for our freedom. You'll be missed. Love
Sign Guestbook
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.
Alger grew up in New Auburn, went to Chetek High School and then studied graphic design at the University
of Wisconsin-River Falls.
“Serving her country was what she wanted,” Knutson said. “We had a conversation before she left that she
might not be coming back, so we spent as much time together as we could.”  Knutson said her daughter
started considering the service after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

After college, she worked as a graphic artist and then a certified nursing assistant at a nursing home before
signing up for the National Guard.
She moved to Fort Campbell, Ky. within the last year, she said. Alger was in charge of convoys that
transported supplies, her mother said.  “She was a very considerate officer,” Knutson said. “She didn’t have
to go on a lot of the convoys, but she wanted to serve alongside her people. She was not a stay-back-at-
camp kind of person.”

Knutson said Alger wrote her aunt a letter, which arrived Oct. 28.
“She wrote a letter that they were going into a big mission and they were concerned about it,” she said.  
Alger spent many years barrel-racing, a rodeo-like event in which horse and rider are timed as they
maneuver around large barrels, she said. Her horse, Tango, is boarded at Knutson’s home.  She was on the
rodeo team at River Falls, and before she left she was president of the Wisconsin Girls Barrel Racing
Association, Knutson said.
“She was such a good daughter,” Knutson said. “We spent a lot of time together traveling to barrel races.
She was my right-hand person. We did everything together.”
Alger’s younger sister, Tanya Leo, served in the Air Force. Tanya’s husband also was in the service, and
Knutson was a member of the National Guard.

The family planned to wait for her body to return home before setting up the funeral, she said. Family and
friends were putting up a memorial in her yard Nov. 3 that included a flag pole. She said it was a bright spot
in her day.  “She would want that,” she said.                                                       
reprinted from MilitaryCity