JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Navy pilot Scott Speicher, the long-missing first casualty of the first Gulf War, was finally laid to rest Friday in his adopted hometown as thousands of people lined the streets to watch a funeral procession pass his school, church and former military base.
Speicher was shot down in 1991 on the first night of the Gulf War. For more than 18 years, no one knew if he was killed or being held prisoner in Iraq until his remains were discovered in the desert, west of Baghdad, earlier this month.
"Eighteen years, six months and 11 days, that needs to be a record that is never broken," said Buddy Harris, a former Navy pilot and friend who accompanied Speicher's body home to Jacksonville from Dover, Del. Harris married Speicher's widow, Joanne, and helped raise Speicher's son and daughter, plus two more children with Joanne.