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Fallen Hanover County soldier to be honored by NASCAR

Updated: May. 27, 2021 at 7:36 PM EDT
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MECHANICSVILLE, Va. (WWBT) - Memorial Day hits differently for Maris and Vera Adcock.

“Memorial Day has a very special meaning to us,” said Vera. “We realize that we can’t take life for granted.

There has been a void in the lives of the Adcocks for nearly 15 years. In October of 2006, their son, Shane, was killed while serving in the Army during a combat tour in Iraq when a Russian armor-piercing grenade was thrown at the vehicle that Shane occupied.

The Atlee High School and Longwood University graduate was married that June and deployed just one month later. Prior to his departure, Maris and Vera made the trip to Hawaii to spend some time with him before he left. It’s a trip they had made before but decided to surprise their son before he left.

“We were able to enjoy him and enjoy that time together. It wasn’t but about 24 hours, but it was strong time together,” recalled Maris. “I was able to give him one last hug.”

“That’s 24 hours we wouldn’t give up,” Vera added.

Shane left his family and friends with plenty of memories. An infectious smile, an unforgettable personality and an unwavering desire to help others were just a few of his traits that stood out.

“He was one of those young men that he walked in and the light of the room just got brighter,” smiled Maris.

“He always wanted to make other people happy,” Vera noted. “He could be silly or he could be serious.”

“He was kind of the life of the party,” said Brian Jalbert, Shane’s best friend since middle school. “I don’t think there’s ever been anybody who’s met Shane that has forgotten Shane.”

Jalbert is the reason behind NASCAR honoring Shane. Watching the sport each weekend is something he and his family do regularly and he began to notice the tributes to fallen soldiers during the Coca Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend, where each driver displays the name of a hero who died serving his or her country on their racecars.

“I thought, man, one of these days I need to nominate my best buddy Shane to see if we could get him on the car,” Jalbert recalled. “Maybe just some of the extra downtime that COVID provided just allowed me to kind of take the reins of it and say you know what, this year’s the year.”

Initially, Brian hoped to get the No. 11 car of Denny Hamlin to don his friend’s name, but Hamlin’s ride was already taken. One car, however, was available- the No. 42 of Ross Chastain. During this Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600, Captain Shane Adcock’s name will be displayed on the vehicle, which is significant for several reasons.

“He wanted it on one car, but it ended up being on car number 42,” said Maris. “Shane’s birthday was just this past Monday and he would have turned 42 years old.”

“I think humbled, just that an organization that’s as large as that, that has as much attention as NASCAR does brought to it, that they would take the time to honor Shane.”

The Adcocks, along with Brian’s family and several other friends will be in attendance at Sunday’s race in Charlotte. It will be an emotional day, but one that they will never forget.

“You get caught up in the moment with your kids and you’re busy and you’re running here and there and everywhere and ‘I’ll do that tomorrow. We’ll do it later,’” Vera pointed out. “Make time and do it now. You’re not guaranteed tomorrow.”

The Coca-Cola 600 is set for 6 p.m. on Sunday.

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