January 17, 2013

High honor bestowed on fallen Maine soldier

Staff Sgt. Eric B. Shaw of Exeter was killed while leading besieged Afghan soldiers back to safety.

The Associated Press

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In this photo provided by the U.S. Army, Gen. David M. Rodriguez, commander of the Army’s U.S. Forces Command, presents a Distinguished Service Cross to Audrey Shaw, widow of Staff Sgt. Eric B. Shaw, during a ceremony held Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, at Fort Campbell, Ky. Shaw, who was killed in June 2010, is credited with saving the lives of 12 Afghan Army soldiers during a mission in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. (AP Photo/U.S.Army)

Staff Sgt. Eric Byron Shaw

Courtesy of the Military Times

But she said she wasn't surprised when she heard that he had sacrificed his own life to save others.

"He was the kind of guy who was 'Go big, or go home,'" she said.

The couple has three daughters, ages 7, 5 and 2. Audrey Shaw acknowledged that it has been difficult to explain to the young children what their father did, but she said the ceremony helped to show the impact he had on so many others.

"They don't know a lot of the details. The most they probably heard about that was today," she said. "It's good for them to see that so many people care and remember him and want to honor him."

Eric Byron Shawn was born June 23, 1979 in Massachusetts and was raised in Exeter by his now deceased father, Gerald Shaw and Alta Gould, his late grandmother.

He was a graduate of Dexter High School and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of Southern Maine in 2003, according to his obituary, which ran in the Portland Press Herald in July 2010.

Click here to read Shaw's obituary.

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