#MemorialDay Series Day 3: Capt. Stanford 'Ford' ShawMay 25, 2022
For Trident’s HR Director, Rebecca Wayland, Memorial Day brings about memories of friend and U.S. Naval Academy company mate Marine Corps Capt. Stanford Shaw III, or Ford as he was known to his friends.
A 2006 Naval Academy graduate, Ford was among seven Marines and four Soldiers who were killed in a military training accident on March 10, 2015 in Florida. Some memories shared are better told from those who knew the best. Wayland reflects fondly upon Shaw:
“I remember meeting Ford on I-Day [induction day - the first day at the U.S. Naval Academy] – we were in the same Plebe Summer squad. He was the kind of guy who got along with everyone, and who made being a midshipman look easy. He made things better for the people around him - even in little ways. For example - the first time we had a chance to make a phone call home over Plebe Summer, due to some mix up, my family ended up not being around for my call. I was pretty disappointed and visibly upset – Plebe Summer was going okay, but nobody enjoys it, really, and I didn’t realize how much I was looking forward to hearing some friendly, encouraging words until I didn’t get to hear them. Ford, who was on watch while the rest of us were making our calls home, noticed how upset I was when I returned to my room. Despite not having a chance to make his own phone call home, there he was, cheering me up with a combination of sympathy, camaraderie, and humor.
During the academic year, we were in the same Chemistry class. I was on crutches for a few weeks, and on more than one occasion he carried both our book bags back to Bancroft Hall after class so that I didn’t have to worry about wobbling down Stribling Walk with a heavy bag while trying to make it back in time for Noon Meal Formation.
Ford was also funny. He loved a good prank and was irreverent about all the right Academy things (he got caught more than once riding the elevator, for example…). He took the mission seriously, but not himself. I lost touch with Ford after graduation, but the news of his death was still devastating. By all accounts, the qualities that made him a great company mate and classmate also made him a phenomenal Marine. I reflect on his service and his family’s sacrifice often, and it reminds me to not only be ever grateful for the time and friendships we have, but also mindful of the difference a small but positive gesture can make.”
Capt. Shaw - we have the watch.