A Distinguished Service Cross ceremony Wednesday honored a fallen Fort Campbell soldier who gave his life to save 12 Afghan Army partners.
When Audrey Shaw tells her three little girls about their father, Staff Sgt. Eric Shaw of Fort Campbell, she tells them he was a man with a booming voice who could make anyone laugh and who sacrificed his life saving others.
"They have a lot of questions now, especially my oldest," said Audrey Shaw. "She was five when he was killed."
In June 2010, while serving in Afghanistan, a platoon of Afghan Army partners were cut off from Eric Shaw's squad, putting them in the line of enemy fire. Eric Shaw went back and rallied the 12 Afghan soldiers, but in saving their lives, Eric Shaw was hit by enemy fire and killed.
"His last words to me before he went over were, 'My cross to bear,'" said Eric Shaw's mother, Michele Campbell. "It never meant much until after. I couldn't be more proud. These Afghan soldiers, I hope they're holding their heads high."
Standing at the front of Fort Campbell's Liberty Chapel, Eric Shaw's family was presented the Distinguished Service Cross for Eric Shaw's actions in combat. Audrey Shaw said this will be something she can share with her daughters to let them truly know their father.
"They're proud of their daddy," said Audrey Shaw. "They're very proud. They know he did a wonderful thing, especially when we explained what this award is about and not very many people get to get this award."
"We love him dearly," added Campbell. "We'll never forget him. He's everything. He's our world, and I'm so proud he's a beautiful hero."