Enquirer News Update   -   Updated 6:40 p.m.

Maupins meet with President Bush

By Howard Wilkinson
Enquirer staff writer

HEBRON - The parents of Spc. Matt Maupin, the Clermont County soldier held captive in Iraq, were aboard Air Force One for a private meeting with President Bush before he left for Washington Monday night.

Carolyn and Keith Maupin "were very comforted by what the president had to say to them," said Maj. Mark Magalski, the Army family assistance officer who has aided the Maupin family since the 20-year-old Army reservist was taken captive by Iraqi insurgents in a convoy assault on April 9.

There has been no public information on the status of Maupin since April 16, when a video showing the soldier surrounded by hooded gunmen aired on an Arab television station.

Magalski, who was present at the meeting, said the Maupins spent a half-hour to 45 minutes with the president on board Air Force One at the DHL terminal at Greater Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport.

Bush was in Cincinnati to attend a $25,000-per-couple fund-raiser in Indian Hill - an event that raised about $2.5 million - and to visit Talbert House, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in Mount Auburn.

After meeting with the president on Air Force One, the soldier's parents walked down the rear ramp of the plane and left the airport without talking to reporters.

"From the day this ordeal began for the Maupin family, President Bush has pledged personally to do everything in his power to bring their son home," Magalski said.

E-mail hwilkinson@enquirer.com