Sunday, August 2, 2009

Rest in Peace, Capt. Michael Speicher

When I read the remains of U.S. Navy Capt. Michael "Scott" Speicher had been found and identified, it broke my heart a little bit. I had been following his story, his disappearance and the search for him for years. I always felt a glimmer of hope that he would be found somewhere in Iraq, alive, and he'd be able to come back to his family. I felt that faith as strongly as I believed Christopher Reeve would walk again someday. But I'm going to go off on a tangent here if I'm not careful.

So it really did make me very sad to read, "The announcement early Sunday of the discovery of Speicher's remains ends more than 18 years of speculation about whether Speicher may have survived the crash and been held captive, or died in captivity in the ensuing years."

I remember reading years ago that Capt. Speicher's initials were found, scribbled or carved into a wall somewhere in Iraq. I don't remember where it was anymore, and there was no idea as to if they were written by Capt. Speicher or how old they were. It was just fuel to the fire that he might have still been alive.

"'The news that Captain Speicher's remains have been recovered is a reminder of the selfless service that led him to make the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom,' President Obama said in a statement."

He was originally listed as "Killed-in-Action/Body-Not-Recovered" in May 1991. That status changed in 2001 to "Missing in Action," and then to "Missing/Captured" in 2002, based on sighting reports in Iraq. Those sightings have since been discredited. For now, at the very least, Capt. Speicher's remains can be brought home and properly laid to rest. My thoughts go out to his family.

I just hope that someone out there doesn't decide to make a movie about Capt. Speicher right away. Let this settle for the time being. And if a movie is made, I hope the family feels alright about it. In 2003, Amy Waters Yarsinske wrote a book called, No One Left Behind: The LT. Comdr. Michael Scott Speicher Story. I hope any film made about Capt. Speicher, mis mission and the search for him can be done with respect.

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