News Of Iraq Beheading Strengthens Tri-State Community

Clermont County's collective strength has been tested since early April when Private Matt Maupin was captured in Iraq.  For weeks the Batavia & Glen Este area communities have rallied to support the Maupin's.  Out of that effort is coming even more good than first expected.  The website is getting 6000 to 7000 hits a day.  People who surf the site are not only leaving pictures of their loved ones but they're also corresponding with soldiers who would normally have no one from home to talk with.  Webmaster Dallas Howard says they're working everyday to make sure those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan feel a connection with those praying for them at home.  Theresa Slatt recently moved to Clermont County and she prays everyday for the safe return of her 18 year old son, Shawn.  The Army National Guard Private is serving near Fallujah.  He called his mother for the first time in a month Tuesday morning.  The call couldn't have come at a better time in light of the recent "negative" news headlines out of Iraq.  The Union Township Meijer grocery store manager believes stories like that of the Philadelphia man who was beheaded by his captors is actually making the community stronger.  John Purkiss has watched the store's wall of honor grow taller and longer with pictures of soldier's serving overseas.  When asked what we could do to help Theresa Slatt simply said, "Pray, pray."

For more information about the Clermont County Ohio Convention and Visitor's Bureau effort to send 100,000 postcards to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan on the web go to