The remains of Navy Capt. Michael “Scott” Speicher, missing since being shot down in action during the first Gulf War, have been found:
WASHINGTON – The remains of the first American lost in the Gulf War have been found in Iraq, the military said Sunday, a sorrowful resolution of a nearly two-decade old question about the fate of Navy Capt. Michael “Scott” Speicher.
The Pentagon said the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology on Saturday positively identified the remains, buried in the desert and located after officials received new information from an Iraqi citizen about a crash.
Speicher’s disappearance has bedeviled investigators since his fighter was shot down over the Iraq desert on the first night of the 1991 war.
The top Navy officer said the discovery is evidence of the military’s commitment to bring its troops home. “Our Navy will never give up looking for a shipmate, regardless of how long or how difficult that search may be,” said Adm. Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations.
The Pentagon initially declared Speicher killed. But uncertainty — and the lack of remains — led officials over the years to change his status a number of times to “missing in action” and later “missing-captured.” The family Speicher left behind, from outside Jacksonville, Fla., continued to press for the military to do more to resolve the case.
Family spokeswoman Cindy Laquidara said relatives learned on Saturday that Speicher’s remains had been found.
“The family’s proud of the way the Defense Department continued on with our request” to not abandon the search, she said. “We will be bringing him home.”
A bittersweet time for his family, no doubt. My prayers go out to them, and may Capt. Speicher RIP.
Cross-posted to Right Wing News, where I am helping guestblog for John Hawkins on Sundays.