Neighbors of a New Jersey Marine killed in a Black Hawk helicopter crash during a training mission in Florida remembered him Friday as a hard-working teen who dreamed of being in the military.
Capt. Stanford Henry Shaw III was from Basking Ridge, and attended Ridge High School. He was killed along with 10 others when their helicopter crashed in fog Tuesday night.
His family declined to speak to a reporter Friday. But neighbors said the 31-year-old Shaw, whom they knew as Ford, had always dreamed of going into the military.
In Shaw's neighborhood on a quiet cul-de-sac in Basking Ridge, roughly 40 miles west of New York City, a person standing outside the family's house declined to comment and referred questions to the military.
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In high school, Shaw found time to play lacrosse, lead his high school's student government and also work part-time at a local pizzeria, according to a neighbor.
"Just a fantastic guy," said next-door neighbor Gretchen Priore, who said she'd known Shaw since he was in high school. She said her daughters, now 3 and 9, looked up to him.
"The older one knew what he was doing, that he was going to make sure we were safe," Priore said. "He taught our girls what it means to be a hero."
Shaw attended the United States Naval Academy and, upon his graduation in 2006, became a commissioned Marine officer. After graduating from the Infantry Officer Course, he was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines.
He served two tours of duty in Iraq, according to information provided by the Marines at Camp Lejeune.
Seven special operations Marines forces based in North Carolina and four National Guard soldiers from Louisiana were killed in the crash.