By Sarah Gauvin, Fort Lee Public Affairs
FORT LEE, Va. — Photos of nearly 800 fallen warriors will line the five and one mile routes of the Fort Lee Run for the Fallen here at Williams Stadium, May 12. The photos are a reminder that the Soldiers who die in service to our nation are not simply statistics, they are people who lived and loved. Capt. Shane Timothy Adcock is among them.
By all accounts, Shane was an all-American hero. He loved God, family, country and all things outdoors. He was a husband, son, brother, uncle, fraternity brother, Soldier, ROTC cadet and Eagle Scout.
“Shane wanted to be in the military from an early age,” Shane’s mother Vera Adcock explained. “That was partly influenced by where he grew up and also the fact that his grandfather served 30 years in the US Navy. Shane loved playing “army” and convinced his sister, Shannon, and other friends to participate in his missions.”
Reared in Virginia Beach, Shane loved identifying all of the military aircraft that he saw flying in the skies, said Vera.
The Adcocks moved to Mechanicsville in 1992, where Shane became active in the church youth program, soccer, wrestling and working as a volunteer firefighter.
In January 2001, Shane joined the Virginia National Guard and attended basic training at Ft. Sill, Okla. Even though he was destined for ROTC at Longwood University and an officer’s commission, he wanted to understand what an enlisted Soldier went through so he could be a better leader.
He enjoyed his time at Longwood, where he was in the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity. Shane encouraged young fraternity brothers to hold their heads proudly and be confident in what they were doing, said Vera. “His grandfather told him to always ‘keep your head up and your chin down.’”
That’s what he taught fraternity brothers, Todd Tinsley and Dan Gauvin.
“Shane believed in me before I did,” said Tinsley, band director at Hungary Creek Middle School. “He knew I was hard on myself, and I blamed myself for too much. Shane always quoted the movie, “Swingers,” to me, ‘You’re so money and you don’t even know it.’”
“Shane taught me a lot about speaking up, being confident and well-rounded,” said Gauvin, administrative support specialist at Fort Lee Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation. “He took a shy, insecure person and turned him into someone who is confident and outgoing. Shane brought the best out of everyone he met.”
“He had a special gift of making everyone feel important and of making you smile even when you didn’t feel like it,” said Vera.
Shane Adcock graduated from Longwood University in 2003.
“His grandfather was able to administer the Oath of Office to Shane on his papa’s 80th birthday,” Shane’s mother recalled.
Soon after, Shane went to Schoffield Barracks, Hawaii, as part of the 25th Infantry Division. He served in two combat missions with the 25th ID. He spent 14 months in Afghanistan on his first deployment and returned to Hawaii where he enjoyed a year of sun, swimming and surfing, Vera exclaimed.
“One of my favorite memories was his homecoming party after his first deployment,” said Gauvin. “He told us all about his experiences while deployed. That was when I realized he was a true American hero.”
Just before departing for his second deployment to Iraq in July 2006, Adcock married and was promoted to Captain.
“Shane always said he had a really bad feeling about his last deployment,” said Tinsley, “but he didn’t take anything for granted and he told me he had no regrets and he was ready if it was his time.”
Shane was born on May 24, 1979 to parents, Vera and Maris Adcock, and he died at the age of 27 on Oct. 11, 2006 in Hawijah, Iraq after his Humvee was hit by an armor-piercing grenade.
Tinsley was at home when his fraternity brother called him early in the morning.
“I knew it had to be important because he was calling at 6:15 a.m.,” said Tinsley. “I was in complete disbelief because in my eyes, Shane was invincible.”
“It was a shot to the gut,” said Gauvin. “Shane was indestructible in our minds.”
Shane’s sister went into labor with twins shortly before Shane’s final mission. The family wasn’t sure if he had received the news before he died.
“When the Adcocks received Shane’s personal belongings and turned on his laptop, we were all comforted to see the desktop photo was of his newborn twin nephews and he was able to “meet” them while he was alive,” Tinsley recalled.
The Adcocks heard from many soldiers who described Shane sharing his faith and praying with them before each mission.
“He touched the lives of many with whom he came into contact,” said Vera.
That resonates with his fraternity brothers.
“Although I only knew Shane for six years, he had a huge impact on my life and still does to this day,” Gauvin said.
“Shane was the little brother I never had,” said Tinsley. He was like ‘chicken soup for the soul’ – the person we all wanted to be.”
Tinsley remembered a time when he first started teaching and his band was selected to march in the inauguration parade in honor of Governor Mark Warner.
“As we marched close to the viewing stand where the governor was, there was Shane in uniform guarding him. Even though I didn’t expect to see him that day, it made sense that they picked Shane to protect him. That’s who I’d want watching my back.”
Fort Lee’s Survivor Outreach Service office supports over 600 families of fallen troops. More than 100 of those family members will attend this year’s Run for the Fallen. For the survivors, the Run not only memorializes their fallen loved ones, it also demonstrates they are still a beloved part of our military family.
On May 12, Fort Lee Soldiers, community members and other survivors will run for Capt. Shane Adcock and thousands of other fallen heroes.
To join them, pre-register at https://lee.armymwr.com/programs/runforthefallen or by calling (804) 734-6445 or 734-6446. Unregistered runners may also come to Williams Stadium at 8:30 a.m. May 12 to participate. The Run for the Fallen is free and open to the public.
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Fort Lee is the Army’s Home of Sustainment and supports the training, education and development of adaptive Army logistics professionals. Major organizations on the installation include the Defense Commissary Agency, Defense Contract Management Agency, Combined Arms Support Command, the Army Logistics University, U.S. Army Ordnance School, U.S. Army Quartermaster School and U.S. Army Transportation School. Fort Lee supports nearly 86,000 Soldiers, retirees, veterans, family members and civilian employees and boasts an economic impact of about $2.4 billion per year.