For four years, the family of Sgt. Keith Matthew “Matt” Maupin has waited for word of his whereabouts. Tonight, they have an answer. Sgt. Keith Matthew “Matt” Maupin has been found.
This afternoon, his family was informed that remains discovered in Iraq had been positively identified as Sgt. Maupin’s, bringing to a sad end a story that began almost exactly four years ago. He was captured April 9, 2004, when his fuel convoy was ambushed in Iraq. Al Jazeera later aired footage that showed him surrounded by now all-too-familiar black hooded thugs. A second tape purported to show his execution, but the footage was of poor quality and only showed the back of his head. No actual shooting was shown, and his family was left to wonder – and to hope.
The waiting is over for them, and I can only hope that they are able to find some small measure of peace in being able to bring him home.
Matt had a ten month old son when he was captured – a son who will never have the chance to get to know his father. At least he will know that his father was a Hero, and he will not live his life wondering whether he is dead or alive.
Tonight, Matt’s family and friends mourn, Ohio mourns, and a nation waits for the return of this Fallen Hero.
For three other families of OIF Heroes, the wait for answers continues:
Pvt. Byron W. Fouty and Spc. Alex R. Jimenez have been missing since their military convoy was raided west of Mahmoudiya, Iraq, on May 12, 2007.
Spc. Ahmed K. Altaie disappeared October 23, 2006. Nearly two months after conflicting information painted a confusing picture of what might have happened, his status was changed to “missing-captured.”
God Speed, Sgt. Maupin. We will never forget.
According to the Department of Defense’s Prisoner of War / Missing Personnel office:
More than 74,000 Americans were never recovered following WWII.
More than 8,000 remain unaccounted for following the Korean War.
Well over 100 are unaccounted for following several incidents in the Cold War.
Vietnam saw nearly 2,000 Americans added to the list of those MIA.
Still missing from the 1991 Gulf War is Commander Michael Scott Speicher (USN)