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WREATHS ACROSS AMERICA

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By Matt Birkholtz

Carolyn Maupin can never forget the Prisoners of War.

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To honor this country’s POWs, Maupin laid a bright green wreath with a large red bow, at the POW flag at the Kentucky Veteran’s Cemetery North in Williamstown on Dec. 11 during the Wreaths Across America ceremony.

Maupin is the mother of fallen soldier Matt Maupin of Batavia, Ohio.

“It touches my heart dearly to come here and do this,” she said.

Matt Maupin was captured while serving in Iraq in 2004. His status was as a POW MIA up until his remains were found in 2008 and was able to finally come home.

Carolyn Maupin said it was an eerie feeling laying the wreath at the flag.

“Whenever you lay a wreath like that down, your insides just cry,” she said. “But yet it’s a good thing, because they have been remembered another day.”

The ceremony at the Kentucky Veteran’s Cemetery North was put on by the Northern Kentucky Blue Star Mothers and chapter president Lorene Friedman.

Wreath’s Across America is a national event that pays homage to veterans that have passed or fallen in the line of duty while serving in the armed forces.

The NKBSM is an organization that has children or even grandchildren that are serving or have served in the military. They send care packages, volunteer at the VA hospital, and serve the veterans at home and families left behind, according to Friedman.

For Friedman, the ceremony had a sense of beauty even on a day of remembrance and somber feelings that can be seen at cemeteries.

“I know it can be odd to call it beautiful, but it is beautiful,” she said. “It is so humbling. It is awesome to see all of these people come together here and weather this cold weather. It’s our way of giving back and that’s why we do it.”

Friedman also said that the honor of having Maupin lay the wreath at the POW flag will always be open to her.

“It’s an honor for us to know Carolyn,” she said. “The Blue Star Mothers met her a couple of years ago at Matt’s funeral. She is a caring lady and it’s an honor for us to join us and lay the wreath here.”