An Open Letter To The Soldier Who Gave It All

An Open Letter To The Soldier Who Gave It All

A tribute to CPT Shane Timothy Adcock, gone but never forgotten. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13

Dear Shane,

I can’t believe it’s been 10 years. Even after all that time, I haven’t forgotten about you. In fact, I think about you everyday. I remember it like it was yesterday, waking up to my teary eyed mother trying to explain death and heroism to a 10-year-old.

I remember chuckling at first, thinking that it had to be a joke. But the grave expression on my mother's face proved that it wasn’t funny. I remember how I questioned God, because I couldn’t comprehend how such a great and powerful God could take away an amazing man. I remember hurting

The hurt began to dissipate, but it was taken over by anger. I was angry with God and I was angry with the person who threw the explosive device that hit the Humvee. I was angry that you had been killed. But more than hurt and more than anger, I was distraught by the fact that I had lost my best friend.

You were my babysitter. You were my best friend. You were the one who listened to my horrible singing and the one who always cheered me up. You were a man of high morals and a friend to everyone you met. You were the one who encouraged so many people. You were the one who enjoyed being around friends and throwing back a beer. You were the one who went to church and ensured that you lived your life in a Christian way. You were the one that left too soon. You were the soldier who gave it all.

It’s truly hard to believe that you have been apart from us for 10 years, but in your sacrifice, I have witnessed the effect that you had on people.

Shane, you brought so much happiness to this world, but not only that you shared it with others. You cared and empathized with people no matter what you were doing and you always put your family first.

Looking back on these ten years, I have seen how much you have shaped the person I have become. I strive to be like you and to encourage others, lend a hand and occasionally a shoulder. You taught me what it looks like to be a follower of Christ. You taught me how to value people. You taught me what it means to stick to your morals. I have learned so much from you; Shane and I know others have too.

I hate that it had to be you, but your sacrifice to this country is so admirable. As we remember you on this ten-year mark, remember that we’re not just remembering you this one day, but everyday. I know that you’re looking down from heaven smiling on us, and I hope you know that I’m smiling right back at you. I love you, Shane. Thank you for your sacrifice and thank you for being my hero.

Love always,


Cover Image Credit: Jennifer Lawrence

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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You Don't Have To See Your Friends Every Day

We all have lives that we're trying to balance.


For as long as I can remember, whenever I would have no plans and go on Snapchat to see all my friends having fun without me, I would get FOMO. I'd get really sad and think that they didn't care about me because they didn't invite me. It would get me in such a bad mood that it would ruin any chance of going out with someone else who wanted to hang out.

I don't know if it was just my anxiety of people hating me or if it was a fear of missing out (FOMO). Even recently, it has gotten me down. However, over the past month or so, I finally realized something: you don't have to hang out every day to still consider each other friends.

Everyone has a life that they're trying to balance, especially after high school. People work (maybe even more than one job) and go to school. Some have to take care of family members or do things for their family. Some people are focusing on themselves. Some have relationships to maintain. Whatever it is, we all have lives that we're trying to balance.

We all want to have fun, but school, work, and our families are the priorities.

Even if they're out hanging with other people, it doesn't mean that they don't want to hang out with you. Free time is served on a "first come, first serve" basis. It's hard to balance hanging out with multiple people.

I also learned that it doesn't matter the number of friends you have. What truly matters is the quality. Ask yourself, "Who's there for me when I really need someone?" The people who are there for you when you really need someone to talk to are your TRUE friends.

It's not easy to be there for someone and make them feel better. If they offer to listen or give advice, they care!

I know that it may feel like you have no friends sometimes, but that's not true. Life after high school is hard at times. You're an adult. You have to do adult things and take care of yourself first.

You have to realize that everyone has a busy schedule and not all your friends' schedules will align with yours, but that's okay! You don't need to hang out with friends every day to consider them your friends. What truly matters is if they are there for you when you need them.

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