Sen. Portman helps remodel Keith Maupin's home

CLERMONT COUNTY, OH (FOX19) - U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and other volunteers worked on the future site of the Yellow Ribbon Support Center on Tuesday as part of an extreme home makeover, if you will.

The Yellow Ribbon Support Center is a non-profit founded by Keith Maupin that sends thousands of care packages to troops serving overseas.

Maupin says rent at the former location was becoming too high, so he plans to move the center to his own garage. As a result, the money they're going to save can be used to send more care packages abroad.

Staff Sergeant Matt Maupin went missing about a decade ago. Maupin was captured in a convoy ambush by Iraqi insurgents in 2004 and later killed. Sen. Portman has been closely involved with his father, Keith, and their family since then.

"They channel their grief into something really positive, and this Yellow Ribbon Support Center has sent thousands of care packages to troops," Portman explained.

Keith Maupin says the whole renovation actually started from a busted air conditioner in his home, so he had a crew come out to take a look.

"I told him that my air conditioner didn't work so he came out to do that and the other guy was going to come out and do some plumbing and fix that, and they thought well this ain't going to work because it needed a lot more than just that," Maupin told FOX19.

Now volunteers including Portman are getting their hands dirty to renovate the house and build a brand new office to run the support center.

"Matt gave the ultimate sacrifice, but there are a lots of other troops too who are over there putting their lives on the line for us, and these guys care a lot about them so I care a lot about these guys," said Portman.

On Tuesday, Portman presented Maupin with an American flag that was flown over Washington D.C.

"Just lost for words you know, there's a lot of people out there that want to help and then will help continue the mission and support the men and women serving in harms way. It's pretty simple," said Keith.

There was still plenty of work to be done, including new carpeting, drywall and painting. Maupin says he expects the garage to be completed and operations at the Yellow Ribbon Support Center to continue at the garage in Clermont County in about a month.

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