Saturday, November 05, 2005

Do You Remember Matt?
We do. We're his neighbors. I live in the county next to Matt's. My high school played his in football. Everywhere for the last year and a half, at the doctor's office, the grocery store, I see photos of Matt with yellow ribbons and prayers for him to be found. Just last week, I saw my lawyer had his photos under glass on her desk. As I explained who he was again to my Mom, my lawyer corrected me when I said that his captors claimed to have shot him in the head. She said, no, they claimed to have beheaded him. She was wrong, but I didn't argue. What difference does it make?

Here's the CNN headline from June 29, 2004:

Al-Jazeera: Militants kill missing soldier

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The Arabic-language television network Al-Jazeera reports it has received a statement and a videotape from militants who claimed to have killed 20-year-old U.S. Army Spc. Matt Maupin, missing since April.

I'm different than most around here, because I think that the soldier in the video given to al-Jazeera was Matt. The Pentagon said they could not verify it was him being executed, which served to give his parents hope. I felt instinctively that the DOD chose to say he was still missing because it was campaign time for Bush, and another dead captive along the lines of Nick Berg was definitely not welcome politically. I was angry then and I still am. Now his poor family has been left wondering for 18 months, praying that the soldier with his back to the video camera was not their son. I believe that it was Matt, and I wonder if the Pentagon knows more than they are saying. I wish I could believe otherwise, but I don't. This family deserves some closure. I cannot imagine what these months dragging into years have been like for them, though I see them in the paper and on the news occasionally and always they are hoping, trusting in the government. Just yesterday they visited the Pentagon, to be reassured again that everything was being done to find Matt.

Keith and Carolyn Maupin, parents of missing Army Reserve Sgt. Keith 'Matt' Maupin, talk with members of the media, Friday, Nov. 4, 2005, in Washington. The Maupins met with Pentagon officials Friday hoping for any new information about their son who was captured by insurgents near Baghdad more than 18 months ago. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)

Anyway, I just want people to remember Matt. I can't forget him, and if I start to, there are many reminders in my neighborhood. I thought I'd just put up a little reminder here in this online community I love. I know I can tell how I feel here without being considered unpatriotic or uncaring. I do care, I do want Matt to be found, and if he was found alive, I'd be the happiest I'd ever been to be wrong.

Local paper's collection of articles
Local t.v. station's collection
WaPo: Iraqi Militants Allege Slaying of U.S. Soldier
POW network
Time magazine

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