Soldier Raised in Exeter Killed in Afghanistan 

A soldier who grew up in Maine, graduating from Dexter Regional High School in 1998, has been killed in Afghanistan.The governor’s office says 31-year-old Staff Sgt. Eric Shaw was killed Sunday by enemy gunfire.Tuesday, family members and friends remembered their fallen hero.”It’s always in the back of your mind. I was worried about him. But you don’t think it’s ever going to happen. It really brings it home,” says Rick Whitney.Staff Sgt. Eric Shaw had returned often to his roots in Maine, from his home in Tennessee. On one trip, he told Rick Whitney, his former history teacher at Dexter Regional High School, he was planning to become a teacher just like him.”He always had a smile. A real infectious laugh. He would always make you smile,” Whitney says. “You lose a part of yourself when you lose a kid like that. He was like one of my own kids.”Shaw left just 11 days ago for his third combat tour. He was killed in Afghanistan two days after his 31st birthday.His aunt, Arlene Gould of Stetson, says Shaw’s devotion to his country was topped only by his love for his family, including his wife and three young children. Their youngest, just a few weeks old.”She had just given birth. And he held his little baby girl before he went,” Gould says.Shaw had finished college to become a history teacher, but told family members he loved serving in the military, like his late father did.”He’d be the type of person who put himself out there to help someone else if they needed him. No matter what the cost to him would be. It’s just the way he was,” Whitney says.”That’s the most important thing I want people to remember. Why. Why he did it, because he loved his country,” Gould says.His aunt says services will likely be in the Augusta area, near his wife’s family. His wife was here visiting her parents when she was notified of her husband’s death.”He was just a great guy,” Gould says. “I will miss him, very much.”Shaw served with the 327th Infantry, First Brigade Combat Team from Fort Campbell, Kentucky.