Fallen Soldier Receives Hero's Funeral

CINCINNATI (AP) - Thousands turned out Sunday to honor a
once-missing American soldier who died in Iraq.

A crowd mourning Staff Sergeant Matt Maupin stretched
from first base to third along the lower portion of Cincinnati's
Great American Ball Park.

The Ohio soldier's casket was on a platform in the area of the
pitcher's mound. Maupin's remains were found in Iraq last month,
nearly four years after he was captured by insurgents.

Members of his Illinois-based unit were among those on the field
at the memorial.

He became the face of the war for many Americans after
Al-Jazeera aired a videotape in April 2004 showing him wearing
camouflage and a floppy desert hat, sitting on a floor surrounded
by five masked men holding automatic rifles.

At a private ceremony with his family Saturday, the Army
awarded Maupin the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service
Medal, the POW Medal and other commendations.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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