Veteran of the Year Rascoe Lauded for His Dedication

Source: Imperial Valley Press

“Everyone goes to Tracy,” said American Legion’s current 5th Area Cmdr. Michael Weir. “He’s always in the community helping somebody.”

If there were an official ambassador of veterans causes in the Imperial Valley, that person would likely have a hard time keeping up with the person who’s managed to become, more or less, the unofficial one in recent years.

That would be Tracy Rascoe, junior past deputy vice commander for California’s American Legion Area 5 and former commander of El Centro’s American Legion Post 25. Over the years, Rascoe has been a tireless advocate of veterans and patriotic causes.

That dedication led to him being named the California 56th Assembly District Veteran of the Year. Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia, D-Coachella, presented the honor Thursday at Veterans Memorial Hall here.

It was a heady day for Rascoe. Just prior to the award ceremony, he was at a press conference in front of the Veterans Service Office in El Centro, where Congressman Juan Vargas announced plans to introduce legislation in Washington, D.C., that would create a grant program to help veteran service organizations such as American Legion and VFW to remodel their facilities to become more accessible to disabled vets. As it turns out, it was Rascoe who proposed the idea to the congressman.

Rascoe, a Legionnaire for the past 15 years, is also co-founder of the Imperial Valley Patriotic Planning Committee. He and El Centro City Councilman Jason Jackson founded the group a couple of years ago to “promote responsible citizenship and patriotic values throughout all ages within Imperial County,” as well as to assist with or organize patriotic events.

“Everyone goes to Tracy,” said American Legion’s current 5th Area Cmdr. Michael Weir. “He’s always in the community helping somebody.”

That proved true for Brawley American Legion Post 60 Cmdr. Martin Islas only a couple of months ago. Islas, an Army vet who served in Afghanistan, reached out to Rascoe at 3 a.m. during a night he was struggling with depression. Rascoe not only took the call, but helped the younger vet find some peace.

“Tracy really does deserve this recognition today,” Islas said. “He is there when you need him the most.”

For his part, Rascoe said he’s drawn inspiration from his late mother, who instructed him that success in life wasn’t about professional or financial achievement. “It’s about touching people in a positive way,” he said.

With that lesson in mind, Rascoe encouraged those in attendance at the award ceremony to be mindful of their words, particularly the way they express their opinions on social media.