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Gates Expresses Condolences to Maupin Family

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

EN ROUTE TO COPENHAGEN, Denmark, March 31, 2008 – Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates today expressed condolences to the family of a soldier whose remains were identified this weekend after he was captured by enemy forces in Iraq four years ago.

The remains of Army Staff Sgt. Keith Matthew Maupin were positively identified through DNA over the weekend, Army officials announced today. Officials announced no additional details of how Maupin’s remains were found or how he died.

“I just wanted to extend my condolences to the Maupin family,” Gates said during a brief meeting with reporters on his way to Copenhagen, Denmark.

“Every single one of these (deaths) is a tragedy, both for the individual and for their families, but this has been especially difficult for the Maupin family because of not knowing for almost exactly four years,” Gates said.

Maupin was a 20-year-old private first class when he was captured April 9, 2004, after his convoy was ambushed with rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire west of Baghdad. He was a member of 724th Transportation Company, from Bartonville, Ill., but was assigned to the 88th Regional Readiness Command for the deployment.

He was promoted to staff sergeant in August 2006, his third promotion since his capture.

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