Sadly, no words needed

January 18, 1991|By Knight-Ridder

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- When three Navy officers in dress uniform knocked on the door of Michael Scott Speicher's Jacksonville home at 4:30 yesterday afternoon, his wife, Joanne, knew why they were there -- to tell her that her husband had been shot down in the Persian Gulf.

"They didn't really have to say anything," said a family friend who asked not to be identified. "She knew they'd come to tell her he was the one."

Military sources say Speicher was shot down by a surface-to-air missile. He was officially listed as missing in action because his body has not been recovered.

Lt. Cmdr. Speicher, a Navy pilot since he graduated from Florida State University in 1980, spent three years teaching other pilots how to fly the one-man F/A-18 Hornet before transferring to a fighter squadron a year ago.

Speicher is married. He and his wife have two children, a daughter, Meghan, 3, and an 18-month-old son, Michael.

"They just think their dad's on a cruise," the friend said. "They're too young to tell them about the war."

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