Photo/Story Gallery 2009

Troopers Escort Fallen Pilot’s Remains in Homecoming After 18 Years

Trooper Smith leads the escort of Navy Captain Speicher’s remains through a parade of people lining the streets of Jacksonville. (Photo courtesy of the Florida Times-Union)FHP troopers had the honor of escorting the remains of U.S. Navy Captain Scott Speicher as he returned to his hometown of Jacksonville after being missing in action for 18 years.

The 33-year-old was a graduate of Forrest High School and Florida State University, a fighter pilot stationed at Cecil Field Naval Air Station and a family man who was part of the fabric of the community.

The news that his F/A-18 was shot down over Iraq on the opening day of Operation Desert Storm rocked the city. The homecoming brought to an end a saga that has gripped the city for almost two decades. Speicher’s body was laid to rest at Jacksonville Memory Gardens after the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Officers and FHP Troopers escorted the body through the town past the Memorial Wall, his high school, church and military base.

Thousands lined the streets along the way saluting and waving American flags as they showed their respect to this fallen hero.

Pictured above: Trooper Larry Smith leads the escort of Navy Captain Scott Speicher’s remains through a parade of people lining the streets of Jacksonville. (Photo courtesy of the Florida Times-Union)