Tomorrow, a Ft. Campbell solider will posthumously receive one of the military’s highest honors—the Distinguished Service Cross. Staff Sgt. Eric B. Shaw was killed while defending a platoon of Afghan Army troops.
June 2010 was a time of heavy fighting in Afghanistan’s Kunar Province, as the as a surge of US troops began a new offensive against Taliban forces. Firefights from that time were fierce. Shaw’s company, from the 101st Airborne’s 327th infantry regiment, and Afghan soldiers were trying to take control of a village in Kunar on June 27. The Afghans were cut off and then ambushed by Taliban fighters. An Army citation says Shaw rushed the to the Afghans’ aid and lead them out of danger. He saved 12 men, but was killed by enemy fire. He was 31 years old.
The Distinguished Service Cross is second only to Medal of Honor in its importance and prestige. It’s been awarded to only a handful of those serving in Afghanistan. Shaw is only the second solider from that war to receive the medal posthumously. Major Gen. James McConville, Ft. Campbell’s Commanding Officer, will present the cross to Staff Sgt. Shaw’s family at a ceremony on the post tomorrow.
This article from Stars & Stripes details the 2010 summer offensive against the Taliban in Kunar, including the events surrounding Staff Sgt. Shaw’s death.