Maupin painting causes controversy

By Dan Wells - bio | email

BATAVIA, OH (FOX19) - Keith and Carolyn Maupin have been examples of unity and support for our troops for years, but things may be changing.

At issue is a picture of Matt Maupin's funeral intended to draw financial support for the Yellow Ribbon Support Center in Batavia

That drawing may have pushed one of the centers founding members - Matt's mom - to walk away from it completely.

"It bothers me because my heart was in it and it still is in it but I have to walk away," said Carolyn Maupin. "I believe I have to walk away."

The controversial painting is called 'Brothers.' It features Matt Maupin's coffin and his brother, Micah.

Carolyn Maupin says it's not an appropriate way to raise funds for the Yellow Ribbon Support center, but her ex-husband, Keith Maupin, disagrees.

Four years after Matt Maupin was captured and killed in Iraq, he was laid to rest here in the Tri-state.

Now art inspired at his funeral is helping raise money for care packages and a memorial in Clermont County for fallen soldiers.

It's an issue causing quite a rift between Matt's parents.

"I was never in agreement with putting that out to the public because I thought that would be something for the family," said Carolyn. "That's what I thought was going to happen that it would be presented the family privately not out for everyone to see."

"My mission in life was to bring Matt home and that's what I was going to do but at the same time we want to make sure we can support the other guys as well," said Keith.

Carolyn Maupin says this issue is the final straw, pushing her away from the very place she helped to create - the Yellow Ribbon Support Center.

"I have only been there a couple of times after Matt's ceremonies and it felt cold to me," she said. "I felt uncomfortable and it could have just been me because of everything that happened with Matt, because it just wasn't that warmth. My hope wasn't there anymore."

Carolyn says she of course still supports the men and women fighting overseas, but can't stand behind the Yellow Ribbon Support Center.

"He works hard there, I'll give that to him, but I think sometimes people lose their focus, and maybe focus is something that need to be worked on," Carolyn said.

"Our mission hasn't changed," said Keith. "Our mission is to raise the moral of the troops serving in harms way if it just that much."

Carolyn Maupin is now working to create her own website to tribute her son.