CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Nine years ago, Army Specialist Seth Blevins and three other soldiers were killed during their deployment to Afghanistan when an explosive hit their vehicle. During Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 race in Charlotte, Blevins was one of 40 soldiers honored.
Blevins grew up 45 miles east of Cincinnati in Sardinia.
He is remembered for his blue eyes and a big smile.
Blevins played sports at Eastern High School and even played music.
Never afraid of an adventure, he traded his college t-shirts for a US Army uniform.
“From the time he was little he wanted to be in the Army," recalled Trish Blevins-Koehler, Blevins’ mom. "That was what he wanted to do, so he at least was living his dream.”
Inside Blevins-Koehler’s Brown County home sits a display of pictures and keepsakes to remember her only son.
“You never forget," explains Blevins-Koehler. "You always wish he was here for the Christmases, the birthdays, you know those memories. Talking about him keeps the memories alive.”
Chosen as one of 40 soldiers to be honored at NASCAR’s Memorial Day Weekend race, driver Aric Almirola drove 600 miles with Blevins’ name on his windshield.
“I think a lot of us walk out the front door every day to do what we need to do or what we want to do; there’s men and women out there fighting for us to have that freedom," Almirola says. "It’s important, not only to myself but to the family.”
Since fans are not admitted into the racetrack, Blevins’ family was unable to fly to Charlotte for the weekend race.
So instead, NASCAR sent the family a small care package.
Just by showing they cared about her son, this mother says the tribute felt bigger.
“Memorial weekend is sad for me but it’s nice when you see people honor those that have lost their lives but you’re never going to forget,” Blevins-Koehler says.
The three other soldiers from Blevins’ battalion, who died in the same attack, had their names on the windshields of Almirola’s teammates in Sunday’s race.