PALESTINE, IL, USA U.S. Army PFC, TROOP A, 1ST SQUADRON, 8TH CAVALRY, 2 BCT, FORT HOOD, TX BALAD, IRAQ 06/18/2007
Jacob was born Sept. 20, 1986, in Paris, the son of Donald Eugene and Sheila Dove Cook Tracy.
Adopted before the age of 5, Jacob Tracy grew up to be the type of guy who always wanted to make people laugh.
When Cyndi Brock was working at a supermarket, she looked forward to the times when Army Private First Class Jacob T. Tracy would stop by and gobble up pickles.
“He was always goofing off,” Brock said, “and making everything just a lot better to be at work.”
Tracy, 20, of Palestine, Ill., died June 18 in Balad, Iraq, from injuries he suffered when a bomb detonated near his vehicle June 17 in Baghdad. He was assigned to Fort Hood, Texas.
“He was a lot of fun,” said Mandie Campbell, an ex-girlfriend.
“He was never boring.” He was always making jokes and was “kind of sarcastic,” Campbell said.
“Like you couldn’t be mean to him because once you did, he’d say something that’d make you laugh,” she added, “and you just couldn’t be mad anymore.”
Tracy, who dropped out of high school his senior year and got into some minor trouble with the law, wanted to turn his life around. He passed a GED test before leaving for Iraq.
“He told us that he wanted to make me and his dad proud,” said his mother, Sheila. “He knew he needed discipline in his life and structure, and he knew the Army would give it to him.”
“He was a special gift,” said Sheila, “He was a loving boy. We were just thankful that we had him the time that we did.”
Tracy, who was attached to the 8th Cavalry Regiment based in Fort Hood, Texas, was born in Paris, Ill., and attended elementary and high school in Palestine, according to a written statement released by Quinn’s office at the request of the family.
He enlisted in the Army in August 2006 and had been deployed in Iraq since March, his parents, Don and Sheila Tracy, said in the statement.
Surviving are his parents; sisters, Christine Ann (Jason) Adamson; Nichole Lynn (Derek) Dunlap; one niece; one nephew; maternal grandparents, Mollie and Richard Houser; maternal grandfather, Steve Cook; maternal great-grandmother, Rachel Miller; paternal grandparents, John and Janez Tracy.