Remember. That’s what Voice of OC’s Civic Editor Tracy Wood asked of us: remember the people who fought to defend our nation.

It was the subject of one of the articles Wood penned for Voice of OC’s first publication day on March 31, 2010. The headline: “Better Late (Really, Really Late) Than Never.”

Today on Vietnam Veterans Day her words from that story are poignant: 

“Vietnam veterans are again victims of politics, nearly four decades after the end of the war. Like so many times during the war, political wrangling got in the way of the veterans’ best interests. And for a time it seemed that a stalemate between Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the state legislature would scuttle the official welcome home.”

As one of the few female combat correspondents in Vietnam, Tracy developed a deep bond with veterans having seen their struggles up close, both at war and back home. 

At Voice of OC, she would lead in the development of two special databases establishing a permanent remembrance to Orange County residents who died in: the Vietnam War and the Korean War.

Today, we also remember Tracy, who died one year ago on March 12, 2020.

The Voice of OC staff, along with Tracy’s colleagues and friends, have all worked to establish a memorial site to permanently honor her legacy here on our news pages. 

“Tracy was the toughest journalist I’ve ever known,” said Voice of OC Publisher and Editor in Chief Norberto Santana Jr.. “She really took seriously a reporter’s job to protect our freedoms at home, and to get all sides of a story, and she saw it as an extension of what so many men and women died to protect on distant battlefields.”

Yet as much as Tracy reminded the news team that journalists are not the story, her own life story is something that her friends wanted to highlight.

Her dedication to real news, her pioneering experiences as a journalist and her lifelong fight against corruption are important to share with future generations of journalists.

Please, take some time today and read about Tracy’s life storytributes to her and samples of her work.

Given Tracy’s passion for training the next generation of journalists on accountability journalism, her friends and family are also pleased to announce the formation of the Tracy Wood Fellowship Fund at Voice of OC that will annually provide paid fellowships to aspiring investigative reporters allowing them to get experience inside the newsroom.

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