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CAPT. MICHAEL SCOTT SPEICHER.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Aug. 13, 2009) Members of ...

Jacksonville, Fl - August 13th 2009

I never knew Captain Michael Scott Speicher, but he changed my life.

I grew up in a military home.  My father joined the Air Force at 17 years old, and he served 20+ years.  As a child I was proud that my Dad was in the military, I got to see air planes, and people looked our way when he was in his uniform.  He had a box in the top of his closet, it was filled with random things he had collected during his time in the service, and I would get so excited when he got that box down.  Every item he pulled out had an amazing story to it; from the old revolver he found in the snow while he was stationed in Alaska, to the pictures he had taken of bears and beautiful sunsets, and the medals and stripes he had earned for his service.  There was one item in particular that I loved; it was a POW/MIA bracelet.  It was a plain stainless steel band, and engraved in the top had the name of a soldier that went to fight and never came home.  He wore it everywhere, with everything.  At that age I didn’t really understand why he wore it.

I am now 25 years old; my dad has been retired from the Air Force for several years.  I cannot begin to explain the respect I have for him and the countless others that have served and sacrificed for me.  I ordered my own POW/MIA bracelet last year.  Capt. Michael Scott Speicher was a Navy pilot.  His FA-18 Hornet was shot down over Iraq on the first night of the Persian Gulf War; January 17, 1991.  The wreckage was found in a recovery attempt, but no remains were present.   I wore this bracelet every day; it was a constant reminder of his sacrifice.  It caused me to think, on a daily basis, about the life he had yet to return to; the stories, and the memories he had shared with his family.  I never knew Capt. Speicher, but he was close, very close, to my heart.

August 2, 2009 Capt. Speichers remains were found in the desert. He was flown back to his hometown, Jacksonville Florida, and laid to rest August 14, 2009.

I don’t think it is possible for me to explain to you how deeply this has affected me. I believe some things in this world have special meaning, and carry great importance in our lives, my bracelet was one of those things for me. The whole purpose for the bracelet is to wear it in memory, and in hopes of an ending to the story. My story got an ending. Capt. Michael Scott Speicher’s remains have been found in the desert, he is no longer lost in a foreign desert, he is at home.

When all other words fail I can only say Thank-You.

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