Hero Soldier on Saturday
I'm not sure if any of you have ever heard the name of Staff Sgt. Matt Maupin , but it is a name familiar in our area. He is from Batavia, and area 30 minutes East of where we live and is where my Uncle and Aunt live.
On April 9, 2004, Maupin vanished after his convoy was ambushed in Baghdad. A video was shown a few days later where insurgents murdered a captured solder, but the footage was so blurry, no one could be recognized. After that no hints of of his whereabouts or fate were found. Until March 2008. A year after his disappearance, his family received word his remains had been found.
Through these horrible and torturing years, his family has been the definition of class and grace. They do not involve themselves in politics, they insult and blame no one and we will honor that and not say anything to slight anyone. Their only goal was to bring their son home and support the families of other missing soldiers. They possess a strength and grace we are sure no one in this house would have under these circumstances.
They even founded The Yellow Ribbon Support Center.The money will fund college scholarships for students at local schools attended by soldiers and marines killed in combat, including Matt Maupin's alma mater, Glen Este high school.
On Saturday, April 26th, Matt's remains will land at Lunkin Airport and tens of thousands of mourners (and we mean that) are expected to line the procession routes and pay their respects during the 20-hour visitation starting 11 a.m. Saturday at the Union Township Civic Center.
Thousands and thousands of brilliant yellow ribbons line his funeral route from Lunken Airport to Union Township.
Hundreds of volunteers worked all week to tie them - to utility poles and fence lines, parking meters and hedgerows, redbud trees and guardrails - most 6 to 12 feet apart at eye level for the passing procession.
Members of the public will pick a spot along the way, bring a candle and light it as a tribute to Maupin and others.
Demand to attend this brave soldiers funeral was so great, that the only place large enough to hold the 43,000 expected attendees is Great American Ballpark.
My mommy never leaves the house without her American Flag Pin, and tomorrow, she will add a yellow ribbon to it. My daddy will wear his pin and ribbon tomorrow too (he doesn't wear it daily like mommy). Although they will not be attending the services, they want everyone everywhere they go to remember a hero comes home tomorrow. And they want to say thank you, not only to the Men and Women in Green who serve the causes of freedom worldwide, but their families, who sacrifice so much.
Welcome Home Matt, we are grateful for all you've done. Rest in Peace.
To read more about Staff Sgt. Matt Maupin and the amazing services being held in his honor, please visit the Cincinnati Enquirer's special section.