Scott Speicher Remains Found
Captain Scott Speicher’s remains have been found more than eighteen years after he was shot down during Desert Storm.
The remains of the first American lost in the Persian Gulf War have been found in Iraq, the military said Sunday, after struggling for nearly two decades with the question of whether he was dead or alive.
The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology has positively identified the remains of Navy Capt. Michael “Scott” Speicher, whose disappearance has bedeviled investigators since his fighter jet was shot down over the Iraq desert on the first night of the 1991 war.
The top Navy officer said the discovery illustrates 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. “We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Captain Speicher and his family for the sacrifice they have made for our nation and the example of strength they have set for all of us.”
The Pentagon initially declared Speicher killed, but uncertainty — and the lack of remains — led officials over the years to change his official status a number of times to “missing in action” and later “missing-captured.”
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 for the downed pilot, she said. “We will be bringing him home.”
It’s great that the family finally has closure.
UPDATE: Speicher was a Lieutenant Commander at the time he was shot down. Per tradition, he was promoted with his peers over the years, a practice that applies to both prisoners of war and those missing in action.