WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) today spoke on the Senate floor to reflect on the 15th anniversary of the death of Alabamian Johnny Micheal “Mike” Spann:
“Mr. President, I rise today to honor the life and legacy of an Alabama patriot and American hero, Johnny Micheal Spann.
“Nearly fifteen years ago – on November 25, 2001 – while fighting on behalf of our grateful nation, Mike made the ultimate sacrifice for our country in northern Afghanistan.
“Mike Spann served as a U.S. Marine officer, and then later with the CIA, when his became the first U.S. combat casualty in the War on Terror in Afghanistan.
“As Americans, we honored the sacrifices made by those who have served and defended our nation on Veterans Day last week.
“Mike is one of the heroic Americans that ran towards danger, putting his life on the line to fight for our freedom.
“Mike was dedicated to combating the tyranny, oppression, and terror that would be inflicted on the world by the Taliban and others who share their goals.
“He gave his life in a noble undertaking, and our nation will be forever indebted to him and his family for his service.
“It is my honor to offer my deep appreciation and gratitude to Mike Spann for his willingness to put himself in harm’s way to protect the values and freedoms that we hold dear.
“His life exemplified honor and courage, and he will always be remembered for his great sacrifice.
“As the Director of Central Intelligence said at Mike’s funeral, ‘May God bless Mike Spann – an American of courage – and may God bless those who love and miss him, and all who carry on the noble work that he began.’
“We should not forget Mike Spann and others like him. I yield the floor.”