Military family looks to reunite command members

The 416th Engineer Command is celebrating its 10th anniversary and among the soldiers stationed in Iraq were Robert Tracy and his oldest son, David.

September 2, 2013 3:43:24 PM PDT
The 416th Engineer Command is celebrating its 10th anniversary and among the soldiers stationed in Iraq were Robert Tracy and his oldest son, David.

The father-son team from Yorkville has a new mission, to reunite members of their command.

They have been deployed a total of ten times to battleground areas. For them, serving their country is the right thing to do. Ten years ago Robert Tracy and his son David were deployed to Kuwait. Father Robert also served with younger son Adam in Kosovo.

Their home is a revolving door. Monday, one son leaves for Afghanistan and Tuesday another son arrives from Afghanistan. Robert and Adam served together in Kosovo.

"It was kind of nice in the evenings every now and then, I was one of the few people to say, 'I'm going to go have dinner with my dad,'" Adam Tracy said.

Adam said he loves serving his country.

"I get to help people, not only the military, but sometimes we get to do humanitarian aid and help other people, as well. It's a rewarding job," he said.

Adam says his mother is apprehensive about his deployment and has shed some tears.

"They've been lucky this long that nothing bad has happened," he said.

Robert Tracy also served with his son David in Iraq and Kuwait, where ABC7's Chuck Goudie caught up with them back in 2003. Tracy said it is not usual for fathers and sons to be stationed together.

"I like to think I have had a positive influence about rights responsibilities of being a citizen," Robert Tracy said.

Robert says he worries constantly about his sons. But that he knows they have been trained for their military assignments.

"I would rather be in Iraq or Afghanistan in the Army then unarmed in east LA or west Detroit or the South Side of Chicago," he said. "So, how fragile is our existence every day."

With the help of others Robert is planning a ten-year deployment reunion for the 416th Engineer Command unit Operation Iraqi Freedom. The event will take place at the Hyatt Lodge Hotel in Oak Brook on the McDonald Campus on November 1-3.

Robert Tracy is a proud to have served his country and is proud of his sons. He says when in battle you get the mindset that says it is ok. "I do not want to die, but people need me and I will do what I have to do to protect them and to keep our country safe."

Robert is retired but would love to serve again. However, his sons are both career servicemen and there is no doubt he will continue to influence them.

The family is looking forward to the 10th year reunion for the 150 who served in November.

For more information on the 416th Engineer Command Operation Iraqi Freedom 10 year reunion, contact Col. (R) Larry Slavicek at 708-341-3619 or LJSlavicek@Comcast.net.


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