Army Reserve General Honors Missing Soldier During Pentagon Ceremony
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Apr. 21, 2006 As the Army Reserve observes its 98th birthday this weekend, the commander of U.S. Army Reserve Command today took the opportunity to honor the only U.S. soldier who remains listed as captured in Iraq, Army Reserve Sgt. Keith "Matt" Maupin.
Army Lt. Gen. James Helmly noted the contributions and sacrifices Army Reservists are making in support of the global war on terror during a birthday commemoration here at the Pentagon. The Army Reserve was established on April 23, 1908.
More than 150,000 Army Reserve soldiers have been mobilized since Sept. 11, 2001, and more than 25,000 have been called to active duty more than once, he noted. "These are clearly hallmarks of heroes," he said.
"But we cannot recognize the call to duty or mention heroes without taking a moment to remember the only American soldier who remains missing in Iraq," the general told an assembled group in the Pentagon's MacArthur Corridor.
Insurgents captured Maupin April 9, 2004, after his fuel convoy came under attack at Baghdad International Airport. Two of the 43 soldiers in the convoy, Sgt. Elmer C. Krause and Spc. Gregory Goodrich, and six civilians were killed in the action that followed. A week later insurgents released a videotape showing the soldier surrounded by five armed men. In June of that year, another videotape showed a man being killed, and an audio track identified the man as Maupin. Pentagon officials have called the second video inconclusive.
The Army continues to list Maupin, a 724th Transportation Company soldier, as "missing-captured." Helmly praised Maupin today and said the Army is committed to bringing him home.
"Matt Maupin answered the call to duty. He continues to courageously answer the call to duty today," Helmly said of the 724th Transportation Company soldier.
Helmly also remembered the Maupin family, who he said "continues to answer the call to duty, serving faithfully and without reservation." He noted the family's tireless work with the Yellow Ribbon Support Center they founded in Ohio to support soldiers and their families. One example of their work was the recent distribution of state-of-the-art computers to Iraq for soldiers to use in communicating with their families and loved ones at home, the general noted.
Maupin's plight serves as a reminder of the Army's warrior ethos, Helmly said. The ethos' four principles are: place the mission first, never accept defeat, never quit, and never leave a fallen comrade.
"We must never forget our brother in arms who is not able to be with his family and celebrate this day with us," Helmly said. "We will live the warrior ethos daily, praying for his family and fighting to bring him back home."