April 9, 2007, - 12:21 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Today marks the third anniversary of the day that Army Sgt. Keith Matthew Maupin a/k/a “Matt” Maupin was captured in an insurgent terrorist attack on his Army convoy in Iraq.
Where is Matt Maupin? Is he alive? Will he come home? Only the Islamic terrorists and their friends at Al-Jazeera know for sure. But Matt Maupin’s parents aren’t just worrying about their son and trying to find him. They are also sending lots of needed supplies and care packages to the other troops.
More from Associated Press:
Sgt. Keith Matthew Maupin was always called Matt by his parents, since his father was named Keith. He was a 20-year-old private first class when he was captured April 9, 2004, when his fuel convoy, part of the 724th Transportation Company, was ambushed west of Baghdad.
A week later, the Arab television network Al-Jazeera aired a videotape showing Maupin sitting on the floor surrounded by five masked men holding automatic rifles.
That June, Al-Jazeera aired another tape purporting to show a U.S. soldier being shot. But the dark and grainy tape showed only the back of the victim’s head and not the actual shooting.
The Maupins refuse to believe it was their son, and the Army continues to list him as missing/captured, Tallman said.
More than 1,000 people are expected at a banquet fundraiser Monday, the third anniversary of Maupin’s capture. Some 700 bikers are expected the following Saturday for a motorcycle ride sponsored by Rolling Thunder, a POW-MIA awareness group. A youth baseball tournament in May drew more entries than it could handle, even though games will be played on several fields.
All are raising money for the Matt Maupin Scholarship Fund, seed money for scholarships given by the high schools attended by Cincinnati-area soldiers who died in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Keith Maupin has lost track of the number of briefings he and his former wife, Carolyn, have received from the Pentagon. They’ve been persistent and he thinks the Army is doing its best to find his son. . . .
“We won’t let people forget,” Clermont County Commissioner Bob Proud said. “Whenever we see yellow ribbons, we think about Matt and all our warriors. It always reminds me of the sacrifice that Matt and all of our troops have made.”
Keith Maupin now works full time with the Yellow Ribbon Support Center, which Carolyn founded before their son was captured. Carolyn and Keith Maupin, though divorced, have united in their effort to be a touchstone for families who have lost loved ones in the war.
“A lot of people come in here and a lot of people call, and they just want to talk,” Keith Maupin said. “That’s OK by me; that’s what we’re here for.”
The center has sent thousands of packages of snacks, toiletries, sun block, bug spray, games and other things to soldiers in Iraq, putting photos of Matt Maupin in every box. The center helped troops obtain donated computers to send and receive e-mail.
You, too, can help at the Yellow Ribbon Support Center.
Sgt. Matt Maupin, Bring Him Back Alive. Keep him in your prayers.
Tags: Afghanistan, Army, awareness group, Baghdad, banquet fundraiser, baseball, Bob Proud, Carolyn Maupin, Cincinnati, Clermont County, Commissioner, County Commissioner, head, Iraq, Keith Matthew, Keith Matthew Maupin, Matt Maupin Scholarship Fund, Pentagon, private first class, Rolling Thunder, Sergeant, Sgt., television network, the third anniversary of Maupin's capture, United States