Remembering the first American killed in Afghanistan, November 25, 2001
CIA Special Operations Officer Johnny “Mike” Spann, RIP.
On November 25, 2001, the first American was killed in the Afghan war, during a prisoner uprising in northern Afghanistan.
He was a CIA special operations officer. His name was Johnny “Mike” Spann. His story is not told often enough.
We have written of Mike Spann several times before, each one documenting a different aspect of his life and family he left behind:
- Remembering Mike Spann (2011)
- Remembering Mike Spann and others (2012)
- Full circle – Johnny “Mike” Spann’s daughter, the Bergdahl swap, and an Afghan warlord (2014)
Here’s a brief description of his story:
The story of this small band of men has been told, but not told enough.
Spann was killed during the Battle of Qala-i-Jangi when Taliban prisoners gained access to weapons and attacked.
Spann was killed during that uprising (see video). One of the prisoners was the so-called American Taliban, John Walker Lyndh, who Spann interrogated shortly before Spann’s death.
Spann’s wife Shannon also worked for the CIA. In addition to his wife, Spann left behind two daughters and an infant son
Spann’s family established a website to honor his life, and there is a wealth of information and photos at his Arlington National Cemetery page.
There is an interesting honor paid to Spann at the website of Afghan General and Warlord Abdul Radhis Dostum, including a link to a photo of the memorial to Spann at the site of the uprising in which he died.
His oldest child, daughter Alison, remembered him last April:
Alison Spann Looks Back on Afghan War from Andrew Smith on Vimeo.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.
Thank you for telling his story once again. It’s simply not heard often enough.
As we remember Spann and his excellence, I think we have to remember Bergdahl and the price that was paid by Pres. ScamWOW to get him back. That price will include more fine men and women who will die at the hands of the pirates Obama released.
He was a productive member of society. A productive member of humanity. RIP
I am equally impressed by his daughter, Alison. The divorce of her parents, the premature deaths of her father and then her mother, should be sufficient to, if not break, then to material corrupt a personality. Yet, she appears lucid and normal, and even optimistic. She must possess an incredibly strong spirit. Perhaps a gift from her parents.
Army Rangers Kristofer Stonesifer and Jonn Edmunds killed October 19, 2001:
It’s probably knit-picking, and is not a distinction which the Stonesifers (and the Edmunds) wish to assume, but you are in error when you call Michael Spann “the First American Killed in the war in Afghanistan”.
Kris and Jonn were killed in a helicopter crash in Pakistan, not in a firefight, but they are no less dead, and their mission was to engage the enemy in Kandahar, Afghanistan — to be the tip of the spear.
Kris’s father set out on a mission to change Army Ranger procedures, so that no one disengages from their seat belts until the helicopter fully lands — the procedure that killed Kris and Jonn was that they were untethered, standing in the helicopter doorway, ready to leap to the ground, when the dust blinded the pilot and the helicopter spun out of control, landing on top of Kris and Jonn.
Kris’ mother has been President of the Gold Star Mothers organization, and last Memorial Day, was featured in the National Memorial Day Concert.
If it’s nit-picking and doesn’t matter, I think mmaybe you don’t post this in a memorial article, hijacking it for what you label as nit-picking.
He emailed me the info., I asked him to post it in comments.
May God rest this good soldier in peace. I am deeply grateful to him and will never forget his name.
Let’s all remember to keep our brave people, those with us and those gone, in our prayers. They are our best hope.
Spann lived a full life before he even got to the military. He was a licensed private pilot, parachutist and certified rescue diver – as a 17 year old.
Worse for the family, the mother of two of Spann’s kids died of cancer just a month or so after Spann died.