A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice


Monday, March 31, 2008

Remembering Heroes

God bless their souls. I mourn for their families. I thank them for their sacrifices in the cause of Freedom and for our beloved country.

AP: Missing Ohio Soldier's Remains Found in Iraq After 4 Years---

BATAVIA, Ohio — Sgt. Keith Matthew Maupin's parents vowed to never let the U.S. Army forget about finding their son.

Their efforts included trips to the Pentagon and even meeting with President Bush, but they ended in disappointment Sunday: An Army general told them the remains of Maupin, a soldier who had been listed as missing-captured in Iraq since 2004, had been found.

"My heart sinks, but I know they can't hurt him anymore," Keith Maupin said after receiving word about the remains of his son, who went by Matt.

The Army didn't say how or where in Iraq his son's remains were discovered, only that the identification was made with DNA testing, Maupin said. A shirt similar to the one his son was wearing at the time of his disappearance was also found.

The Army was continuing its investigation, Maupin said.

[. . .]

Keith Maupin said the Army told him soon after his son's capture that there was only a 50 percent chance he would be found alive. He said he doesn't hold the Army responsible for his son's death, but that he did hold the Army responsible for bringing his son home.

"I told them when we'd go up to the Pentagon, whether he walks off a plane or is carried off, you're not going to leave him in Iraq like you did those guys in Vietnam," Maupin said.

Keith Maupin and his ex-wife, Carolyn, held a candlelight vigil Sunday night outside the Yellow Ribbon Support Center in Batavia, an office they used to package thousands of boxes of donated snacks and toiletries for shipment to soldiers in Iraq.

[. . .]

Asked how they would suspend their grief and take part in the parade, Keith Maupin said, "Our mission continues." They raise funds for the Yellow Ribbon center and for scholarships for children of veterans.
I always prayed Sgt. Maupin would be found alive. I pray he is in the loving arms of Jesus. Keith Maupin died a hero and he will be remembered as one.

And another hero:

AP: Navy SEAL gets Medal of Honor---

SAN DIEGO - An elite Navy SEAL who threw himself on top of a grenade in Iraq to save his comrades will be posthumously awarded the nation's highest military tribute, a White House spokeswoman said Monday.

The Medal of Honor will be awarded to Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor. His family will receive the medal during a White House ceremony April 8.

Monsoor is the fourth person to receive the honor since the beginning of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

"Petty Officer Monsoor distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism on Sept. 29, 2006," press secretary Dana Perino told reporters during a briefing aboard Air Force One as President Bush headed to Europe for a NATO summit.

Monsoor was part of a sniper security team in Ramadi with three other SEALs and eight Iraqi soldiers, according to a Navy account. An insurgent fighter threw the grenade, which struck Monsoor in the chest before falling in front of him.

Monsoor then threw himself on the grenade, according to a SEAL who spoke to The Associated Press in 2006 on condition of anonymity because his work requires his identity to remain secret.

"He never took his eye off the grenade, his only movement was down toward it," said a 28-year-old lieutenant, who suffered shrapnel wounds to both legs that day. "He undoubtedly saved mine and the other SEALs' lives, and we owe him."
Mansoor "had received the Silver Star, the third-highest award for combat valor, for his actions pulling a wounded SEAL to safety during a May 9, 2006, firefight in Ramadi" and was "posthumously awarded the Bronze Star for his sacrfice in Ramadi."

We must thank God that there are such men out there, defending us, defending freedom, and willing to die.

God bless our military.

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