Matt Maupin

This is a story sent to me by a fellow blogger that, and I am passing it on to you. God Bless America and this family

DNA analysis has confirmed that human remains found in an unspecified region of Iraq are those of missing Army Staff Sergeant Matt Maupin.

In a Sunday evening press conference, Staff Sergeant Maupin’s parents Keith and Carolyn said they were told of the news around around 1 p.m. Sunday.

“My heart sinks, but I know they can’t hurt him anymore,” Keith Maupin said.

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.

“It hurts, it hurts,” Carolyn Maupin said outside the Yellow Ribbon Support Center in Union Township. “After you go through almost four years of hope, and then this is what happens, it’s like a let down,” Maupin continued.

20-year-old Maupin was captured on April 9, 2004 when his fuel convoy, part of the 724th Transportation Company, came under attack near the Baghdad International Airport. 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. On June 28, a video purporting to show his execution was released, but Army officials said the quality was so poor that it could not be verified.

Keith and Carolyn 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.

Keith Maupin said the Army told him early on that there was only a 50 percent chance his son would be found alive. He said he doesn’t hold the Army responsible for his son’s death, but that he did hold the Army responsible for bringing his son home.

“I told them when we’d go up to the Pentagon, whether he walks off a plane or is carried off, you’re not going to leave him in Iraq like you did those guys in Vietnam,” Keith Maupin said.

Vigils were held throughout the Tri-State after Maupin went missing, and yellow ribbons went up immediately. For three years and eleven months, Maupin has been listed as missing.

Maupin was a 2001 graduate of Glen Este High School in Union Township and played on the football team. He then 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.

When Carolyn Maupin was asked what the community could do to help her family during this time, she replied, “[Just] stay by our side and support us, that would be great.”

An 8:30 p.m. candlelight vigil was held at the Yellow Ribbon Support Center, which is located on South Eastgate Boulevard in Batavia.

Two U.S. soldiers remain missing in action in Iraq. Ahmed Qusai al-Taayie, a 41-year-old Iraqi-born reserve soldier from Ann Arbor, Mich., was abducted while visiting his Iraqi wife on Oct. 23, 2007, in Baghdad. Capt. Michael Speicher, a Navy pilot, has been missing since the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

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