January 13, 2022

Tracy Dorsett

By Glenn

Growing up, we often had large family gatherings.  When an unexpected member of the family showed up, Momma would say with a smile, “Look what the cat dragged in.”

After Jackie and I moved to Texas, those large family gatherings grew less frequent.  We did, however, start attending events in Texas.  Inevitably, these events were filled mainly with strangers.

Over time, we did make new friends either through work or kids’ activities.  Most of these friendships were transitory as coworkers moved in and out of jobs or the boys changed Scout groups.  

A few friendships grew and blossomed.  One such friendship is with the Dorsetts: Linda and Tracy.  Jackie taught side by side with Linda.  Tracy and I drank beer together.

I didn’t know much about Tracy.  Our wives simply worked together, and we would go out to eat occasionally.  Eventually, we started barbecuing on weekends and got to know each other better.

Those small BBQs turned into a large annual Pig Roast.  Tracy had been stationed in Louisiana during his time in the Air Force and knew about Cajun cooking.  He asked if I knew how to roast a whole hog.

I had watched some roasts during my college days.  Jackie’s uncle had roasted a few, and my fraternity did another. It wasn’t a complicated process.

The Pig Roast turned into an annual event for over ten years.  Tracy and I had plenty of time to sit by a fire, drink beer and talk.  The Pig Roast allowed us to invite plenty of family and friends to town.

One day as I walked out of his living room, I noticed a small plaque hanging over an arch way.  It simply said Air Force Cross.  I looked again.  Tracy had earned the Air Force Cross in Vietnam.

I was shocked.  The Air Force Cross is second only to the Medal of Honor.  In all our conversations, not once did he mention this high honor.

It took several attempts before he actually told me the story.  Tracy had knowingly flown into a valley protected by anti-aircraft missiles.  The missiles protected North Vietnamese jets. 

Tracy destroyed the jets. On the way out, however, he was shot down behind enemy lines.  He was quickly rescued and flown to safety.

Lieutenant Colonel Tracy Kemp Dorsett Jr, age 84, passed away peacefully of natural causes on 28 November 2021.  His wife, Linda and, children, Teek, Lee and Chris, will miss him dearly.

I never expected to meet a genuine hero like Tracy.  Our friendship was unexpected and simply by chance.  As Momma would say, “Look what the cat dragged in.”

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