Tracy Lynn Alger’s passions were rodeo and barrel-racing, and she always tried to improve her teams. “I feel like I’m a better person for knowing her,” said Todd Kirschbaum, coach of the Rodeo Club. Alger, 30, of New Auburn, Wis., was killed Nov. 1 by a roadside bomb in Shubayshen. She was assigned to Fort Campbell. She graduated the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in 2001 with a degree in marketing communications. “Serving her country was what she wanted,” said her mother, Pauline Knutson. “We had a conversation before she left that she might not be coming back, so we spent as much time together as we could.” After college, she worked as a graphic artist and then as a certified nursing assistant before signing up for the National Guard, inspired by the 9/11 attacks.
Alger was in charge of convoys that transported supplies. “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.” “She was such a good daughter,” Knutson said.
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.
â€œServing her country was what she wanted,â€ Knutson said. â€œWe had a conversation before she left that she might not be coming back, so we spent as much time together as we could.â€ Â 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. Â â€œShe was a very considerate officer,â€ Knutson said. â€œShe didnâ€™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.â€
Knutson said Alger wrote her aunt a letter, which arrived Oct. 28.
â€œShe wrote a letter that they were going into a big mission and they were concerned about it,â€ 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 Knutsonâ€™s home. Â 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.
â€œShe was such a good daughter,â€ Knutson said. â€œWe spent a lot of time together traveling to barrel races.
She was my right-hand person. We did everything together.â€
Algerâ€™s younger sister, Tanya Leo, served in the Air Force. Tanyaâ€™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. Â â€œShe would want that,â€ she said.
2nd Lt. Tracy Lynn Alger, 30, of New Auburn, Wis., died Nov 1 in Shubayshen, Iraq, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near her vehicle. She was assigned to F Company, 626th Brigade Support Battalion, attached to 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment,3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
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