A sad day we knew might happen.
BATAVIA, Ohio (AP) – The father of Matt Maupin, a soldier listed as missing-captured in Iraq since 2004 said today that the military had informed him that his son’s remains were found in Iraq. Keith Maupin said at a news conference in suburban Cincinnati that an Army general told him DNA testing had identified the remains of his son, Sgt. Keith Matthew Maupin, or “Matt” as he was commonly known.
“Matt is coming home; he has completed his mission,” said Keith Maupin, outside the Yellow Ribbon Support Center in Eastgate. “After years of prayer and hope, we learned today that Matt died while in captivity. While this is not what we had hoped for, at least we know.”
Lt. Lee Packnett, an Army public affairs officer in Washington, confirmed that the Maupins were notified Sunday that their son’s remains had been identified. Packnett said an official statement about the identification would be released Monday.
Matt Maupin was a 20-year-old private first class when he was captured April 9, 2004, after 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 refused to believe it was their son, and the Army had listed him as missing-captured. The Maupins lobbied hard for the Army to continue listing their son as missing-captured, fearing that another designation would undermine efforts to find him. “You never stop hoping. You never know,” his mother, Carolyn Maupin, said in 2006 after Iraqi al-Qaida leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed in a U.S. airstrike, leading to speculation that U.S. intelligence could be getting closer to learning Maupin’s fate.
Matt Maupin graduated from Glen Este High School, just east of Cincinnati, in 2001 and attended the University of Cincinnati for a year before joining the Army Reserves. Dan Simmons, the athletic director at Glen Este, remembered Maupin as a quiet but hardworking backup player on the school’s football team. “Matt was a selfless kid on the football field,” Simmons said. “He did whatever the coaches told him. He wasn’t a starter, but he made the other kids play harder.”
A month after his capture, Maupin was promoted to the rank of specialist. In April 2005, Maupin was promoted to sergeant.
“Flags are flying at half staff on Clermont County government buildings as a tribute to Matt, our native son, our hero,” said Clermont County Commission President Bob Proud.
……“As parents, we are deeply saddened and still letting it sink in,” said Keith Maupin in a prepared statement. “As Americans, we are proud of the continued efforts made by our military to return Matt home to us. With the nation’s continued support, we will make it through this and hope to find answers about what happened to Matt.”
……While many questions remain surrounding Staff Sergeant Maupin’s death, Keith Maupin said he knew that the Army would stand by the Warrior Ethos to leave no comrade behind. “It is not easy, but we have faith and know we will see Matt again.” Funeral arrangements are not yet available.
The consolation, besides the fact that this Soldier’s remains are finally home, is that a lot of the terrorist muslim animals who are responsible for this type of atrocity, are in hell without their 72 virgins.
Rest easy, SGT Maupin.
Duty, Honor, Country
Incidently, a young Soldier by the name of PFC Jeremy Church was awarded the Silver Star for bravery and saving the lives of five Soldiers during that ambush:
BAGHDAD — On April 9, 2004, then PFC Jeremy Church was a driver for the 724th Transportation Company and was with convoy commander 1LT Matthew Brown on an emergency fuel mission to Baghdad International Airport (BIAP) when his fuel convoy came under attack by elements of Muqtada al Sadr’s militia.
While driving along a four-mile stretch of a six-lane highway near BIAP, approximately 200 insurgents with rocket-propelled grenades, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), machine guns and assault rifles attacked in an area that was surrounded by two and three level houses with narrow side streets.
As soon as Church’s vehicle entered the area of the ambush, it took small arms fire while explosives blasted the convoy from both sides of the road. Church drove aggressively to avoid the blasts and other obstacles such as guardrails, concrete barriers, and vehicles that were placed across the road to slow the movement of the convoy.
……While navigating the vehicle through obstacles, Church fired his rifle at insurgents with one hand while encouraging his platoon leader to stay conscious. Church continued to drive the Humvee on three tires for four miles while firing at enemy targets and changing magazines with one hand. He found an exit ramp and led the convoy to a security perimeter.
……Once all the wounded were loaded, there was no room left for Church in the vehicle. He instructed the Soldiers to take the wounded back to safety while he waited in the thick of the gun battle, under constant enemy fire.
Church climbed into the disabled Humvee for cover, engaged enemy targets and killed several insurgents. The recovery team returned approximately 10 minutes later to pull him out of the battle.
Returning to safety, Church immediately rendered medical treatment to two civilians with minor wounds and loaded them into vehicles for ground evacuation. Before leaving the area, Church initiated a sweep of sensitive items and weapons to prevent capture by enemy forces.
The rest of the description of the battle and PFC Church’s valor is at this link: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0KAB/is_1_51/ai_n15379258
The selfless courage displayed by PFC Church is the reflection of what Soldiers are taught since day one of basic training:
The Soldier’s Creed
I am an American Soldier.
I am a Warrior and a member of a team.
I serve the people of the United States, and live the Army Values.
I will always place the mission first.
I will never accept defeat.
I will never quit.
I will never leave a fallen comrade.
I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills.
I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself.
I am an expert and I am a professional.
I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy, the enemies of the United States of America in close combat.
I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.
I am an American Soldier.