IMPERIAL — Junior Past Vice Commander of Area 5, American Legion Department of California Tracy Rascoe was presented with the 2019 Distinguished Veteran of the Year award at the Veterans Memorial Hall in Imperial Thursday, November 7. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1986 to 1996, as well as the Navy and Army reserves until 2011.
Commander, American Legion Brawley Post 60 Martin Islas spoke about Rascoe’s work ethic, dedication to community, leadership, and several other positive attributes of his character.
“Tracy is a fellow veteran, great mentor, a great leader, and a great friend. He really does deserve this award today. He brings people together and he cares about this community,” said Islas.
Rascoe was scary and intimidating at first, according to Islas. After getting to work with him and seeing what he does for local vets, Islas realized how caring and passionate he was.
Assembly member Eduardo Garcia presented the 2019 Distinguished Veteran of the Year award after sharing his excitement of presenting the award to more than one recipient this year. Representing several valleys makes the decision difficult, according to Garcia.
“It is my honor to recognize Tracy Rascoe, an exemplary patriot and pillar of our community, as our 56th Assembly District’s 2019 Veteran of the Year. After bravely answering our nation’s call of duty, Mr. Rascoe has continued to lead, and has dedicated efforts to improving the lives of his fellow veterans,” said Garcia.
“This is your day. Today is your day to be recognized for all of the work that you do, not just for the veterans but for the community as well,” said Garcia.
Rascoe was honored with several other awards. Congressman Juan Vargas explained his intentions to include Rascoe in the congressional record of the United States, saying that in the U.S., we memorialize and record important historical events and people. Vargas said Rascoe is an important person to include in the United States’ history.
Teary-eyed, Rascoe talked about why he is the way he is.
“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” he said.
His father was a Korean War veteran. Rascoe explained he can sometimes be tough, like his father. But he told a story that showed how he is also like his mother.
Rascoe’s mother was a nurse. According to Rascoe, she was very well known in their community. Throughout his life, Rascoe called his mother anytime he landed a good job or got promoted, excitedly telling her of his financial gains. She always told him life wasn’t about the money, but about touching people in a positive way.
Rascoe said he never understood that lesson until her funeral, when 500 people attended. He realized that his mother touched so many people’s lives.
“It’s not about the money. It’s about touching people in a positive way,” said Rascoe.