The remains of Navy Captain Scott Speicher, a pilot who has been missing since being shot down during the 1991 Gulf War, have been positively identified. The Pentagon has released a statement:

The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) has positively identified remains recovered in Iraq as those of Captain Michael Scott Speicher. Captain Speicher was shot down flying a combat mission in an F/A-18 Hornet over west-central Iraq on January 17th, 1991 during Operation Desert Storm.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Captain Speicher’s family for the ultimate sacrifice he made for his country,” said Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy. “I am also extremely grateful to all those who have worked so tirelessly over the last 18 years to bring Captain Speicher home.”

“Our Navy will never give up looking for a shipmate, regardless of how long or how difficult that search may be,” said Admiral 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 statement goes on to recount the details of how Capt. Speicher’s remains were found, and the likelihood that he died on impact. I am so glad that the remains have been identified, and the mystery solved.

Much like the disappearance of Etan Patz, the Speicher case has been weighing on my mind. While every missing person and serviceman is important, some cases take on a special meaning in our consciousness. I’m glad that Capt. Speicher’s family has the certainty of knowing what happened, and of burying him in the U.S.A

Don’t forget to Honor Mike Spann

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