Congressional Record: December 11, 2001 (House)
Page H9149-H9152                       

                        MEMBERS OF ARMED FORCES

  Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to the 
concurrent resolution (H. Con. Res. 281) honoring the ultimate 
sacrifice made by Johnny Micheal Spann, the first American killed in 
combat during the war against terrorism in Afghanistan, and pledging 
continued support for members of the Armed Forces.
  The Clerk read as follows:

                            H. Con. Res. 281

       Whereas as part of the war against terrorism, United States 
     military personnel and agents from the Central Intelligence 
     Agency were involved in combat with Taliban forces during a 
     prison uprising in Mazar-e Sharif, Afghanistan, on Sunday, 
     November 25, 2001;
       Whereas Johnny Micheal Spann, age 32, an officer in the 
     Central Intelligence Agency, was inside the prison fortress 
     interviewing Taliban prisoners when the uprising began;
       Whereas Spann was killed in this rebellion and is the first 
     American known to be killed in combat in Afghanistan during 
     this war;
       Whereas Spann is the 79th employee of the Central 
     Intelligence Agency killed in the line of duty;
       Whereas the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, 
     George J. Tenet, hailed Spann as an American hero and will 
     soon memorialize him on a wall of honor;
       Whereas Spann, a former Captain in the Marine Corps, is 
     survived by his wife, Shannon, and 3 young children; and
       Whereas the thoughts and prayers of the Congress and the 
     Nation remain with the families of Spann and all the soldiers 
     fighting to ensure the Nation's freedom and safety: Now, 
     therefore, be it
       Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate 
     concurring), That the Congress--
       (1) honors Johnny Micheal Spann, a paramilitary officer in 
     the Central Intelligence Agency, who was the first American 
     killed in combat during the war against terrorism in 
     Afghanistan, and recognizes him for his bravery and 
       (2) extends its deepest sympathies to the family of this 
     brave hero; and
       (3) pledges its continued support for the men and women who 
     risk their lives every day to ensure the safety of all United 
     States citizens.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
Florida (Mr. Goss) and the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Pelosi) 
each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Goss).

                             General Leave

  Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may 
have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks 
on H. Con. Res. 281.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Florida?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I rise obviously in very strong and sad support of this resolution; 
sorry that we have to have it. It is authorized by my friend and 
colleague, the gentleman from Alabama (Mr. Aderholt).
  Johnny Micheal Spann, "Mike" as he was known, served in the Central 
Intelligence Agency for approximately 2 years, just long enough to 
complete his training as a paramilitary and an operations officer in 
the clandestine service, which is arguably the most challenging and 
dangerous job in the intelligence community.
  Mike was up to the challenge. In fact, he humbly accepted the 
opportunity to serve his country as an intelligence officer. Prior to 
joining the CIA, Mike served in the United States Marine Corps; he 
loved the Corps. I think all Marines love the Corps and often spoke of 
the Corps as if it was a family. And it is a family. We all know that. 
He left the Corps and he joined the CIA because, in his own words, 
"Somebody's got to do the things that nobody else really wants to 
  His dedication to this country and his commitment to defending its 
values and liberties highlight the quality of the men and women who 
have decided to serve our great country. Mike did exactly what he set 
out to do. He served his country in a way many would not or could not. 
A relatively newlywed, with a newborn son and two young daughters, Mike 
selflessly responded to the call to serve at the forefront of our 
Nation's war against terrorism.
  Half a world away, in a dusty, inhospitable and alien environment, 
Mike confronted our Nation's fiercest enemy eye to eye. He did this not 
because it was his job, but because he was compelled to ensure that all 
people, regardless of their nationality or religion, could live without 
the fear of being victims of terrorism. That is what this is about.
  Mike died fighting, trying to obtain information on terrorist plans 
and intentions so we could save others. Face to face against those bent 
on killing innocent men, women, and children, Mike stood strong, he 
stood tireless and fearless. That is the description of an American 
hero and Mike was one.
  Up to the moment of his death, Mike never stopped being a Marine. 
"Semper Fidelis." He was always faithful. He was faithful to the 
countless, nameless millions of Americans, especially those incapable 
of defending themselves. Mike exemplified a breed of officer not 
normally acknowledged in the public sector. He readily accepted the 
risks of service, including the possibility of death, in order to 
secure the safety of his fellow Americans.
  His death acts as a reminder of the high cost we must sometimes pay 
in order to secure our pursuit of liberty and happiness. We hold the 
greatest debt to Mike and to his family. The memory of his deeds must 
be held forever dear in our hearts. We pray for Mike's family and ask 
God to give them strength and see them through these difficult days.
  We also pray for Mike's fellow colleagues in intelligence and in the 
military, who are still standing, even now, as the Nation's vanguard in 
the war against terrorism.
  There are many Mike Spanns out there doing dangerous hard work for 
our country. God bless them all and keep them safe. But there is only 
one Mike Spann for his family and his loved ones.

                              {time}  1730

  Mr. Speaker, we share the burden of their loss today, and we want 
them to know we honor him before the world from this place.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to yield the balance of my time 
to the gentleman from Alabama (Mr. Aderholt), who is the sponsor of the 
legislation, to control the time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Duncan). Is there objection to the 
request of the gentleman from Alabama?
  There was no objection.
  Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the legislation to honor Johnny 
Micheal Spann, who was laid to rest yesterday with other fallen men and 
women of great courage in Arlington National Cemetery. That an officer 
of the CIA

[[Page H9150]]

was the first combat fatality of the struggle against terrorism in 
Afghanistan is a stark reminder of how dangerous and difficult the 
mission of collecting intelligence can be. The gentleman from Florida 
(Mr. Goss) spoke eloquently to that point. He also described Mike's 
role at the CIA, and the circumstances and the danger in which he was 
placed; and which, unfortunately, caused his demise.
  Like 78 CIA officers before him, Mr. Spann gave his life to protect 
the freedom which we hold dear and which defines us as a Nation. As we 
mourn his death, it is well to remember the gifts he gave our country 
through a career of service, first in the Marine Corps, and sadly, 
finally, in the CIA. He went to Afghanistan because he knew that is 
where his country needed him most. Our ability to respond effectively 
to the events of September 11 is due in large measure to the 
willingness of people like Mike to put personal considerations aside 
and accept the risks inherent in their important work.
  Mr. Speaker, we are joined by Mike's family in the gallery today, and 
want them to know, those of us who are speaking on this resolution 
speak for the entire Congress when we offer them our deepest sympathy 
and condolences. No words we can say will ever be adequate to relieve 
the agony that they are in. However, I would like to place in the 
Record some of the words of Mrs. Spann that she said in eulogy 
yesterday which eloquently describe Mike's contribution to our country. 
She said, "Mike was faithful in giving his life to God and to his 
colleagues, his friends, his country and his family." Mrs. Spann said 
her husband "was a hero not because of the way he died, but rather 
because of the way he lived. He served his country not only by risking 
his life, but by being good. It seemed like when Mike took an oath to 
protect the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign 
and domestic, that he took that oath to our family as well. He just 
thought that it was really his duty as a father to protect his children 
from terrorism, just as equally as he thought it was his duty to 
provide a roof over their heads."
  As we pay tribute to Mike Spann's sacrifice, Mr. Speaker, our 
sympathies and prayers certainly go to his family, his wife, Shannon, 
who is also a CIA officer; his daughter, Alison, who is here with us 
today; Emily, his daughter, who is 4, is not; and his infant son, Jake, 
who is with us. Their loss is incalculable. His father and mother are 
with us today, and our condolences go to them. As a mother of a son 32 
years old, I cannot imagine the scale of their loss; but nonetheless, 
offer my prayers in sympathy.
  To his children especially go our hope that they learn more clearly 
of their father's life in the years to come, that they will find it a 
source of pride and comfort, and that he will always be in our prayers 
and in our memory.
  Mr. Speaker, as we sing the praises of Micheal Spann and mourn his 
death and try to comfort his family, I would like to pay tribute to 
those Americans who lost lives in the so-called friendly fire incident 
that occurred in Afghanistan. They have been memorialized as well, the 
three Green Berets. They were Master Sergeant Jefferson Davis of 
Watauga, Tennessee; Staff Sergeant Brian Cody Prosser of Frazier Park, 
California; and Sergeant First Class Daniel Petithory of Cheshire, 
Massachusetts. We lost two others in helicopter accidents in Pakistan. 
Every one of these losses is felt by all of us in our country.
  Today we mourn and pay tribute to Johnny Micheal Spann, known as 
Mike, who would want us to recognize the others whose lives were 
sacrificed, to end terrorism in our country, to protect Jake and Alison 
and Emily, and all of the children of our country.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. ADERHOLT. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  (Mr. ADERHOLT asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
  Mr. ADERHOLT. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to bring voice to my 
constituents, my State, and people around the Nation who mourn the loss 
of Johnny Micheal Spann, better known as Mike Spann. Mike Spann lost 
his life as has already been said, in service to this country during a 
prison uprising in Afghanistan on November 25, 2001. He is an American 
hero and I stand to honor him today.
  There are few facts about the exact circumstances of his death that 
we currently know, due to the nature of the war. Mike Spann was serving 
as a paramilitary officer with the CIA and was at the prison in Mazar-e 
Sharif interviewing Taliban prisoners. It is believed that these 
prisoners smuggled guns and grenades into the prison and used these 
munitions to stage an uprising against the Northern Alliance and the 
American soldiers.
  Mike and a fellow CIA officer drew their weapons and attempted to 
fight their way out of the prison fortress. While his fellow CIA 
officer was able to escape, Mike, unfortunately, became the first 
American killed in action in Afghanistan.
  Before his death, he and his fellow CIA officer were able to alert 
outside forces who were sent in to squelch the uprising. The bloody 
battle continued for 3 days. Five other Americans were injured during 
the struggle. It was not until the prison could be secured that Mike's 
body was found.
  Even without the full details of the prison riot during which he was 
killed, we can be certain that Mike Spann died doing what he loved, 
serving and fighting for his country. Since September 11, we have 
witnessed an outpouring of patriotism across this Nation. Mike was 
someone who overflowed with patriotism even during a time when it was 
not popular. His father recently quoted Mike as saying, "Someone has 
to do the right thing that no one else wants to do."
  From a young age, he wanted to pursue a career in the Marines and 
with either the CIA or FBI. After graduating from Winfield High School 
in Marion County, Alabama, he attended Auburn University where he 
earned a degree in criminal justice. He immediately pursued his next 
goal, serving in the Marine Corps from 1992-1999, and he earned the 
rank of captain. From there, he was recruited to work for the CIA in 
special operations.
  Mike is survived by his wife Shannon and three children, Alison 9, 
Emily 4, and 6-month old Jake. Our prayers go out to them and the rest 
of the Spann family. Mike is also survived by his parents, Johnny and 
Gail Spann, and two sisters, Tonya Ingram and Tammy Dunavant. We are 
glad that they can join us in the Chamber today.
  Mr. Speaker, I was proud to attend the burial of Mike Spann yesterday 
in Arlington National Cemetery. The cemetery is appropriate for a 
fallen hero. Full military honors were given, highlighted by the 
caisson, a 21-gun salute and a Marine honor guard.
  It should be noted that a memorial service was also held last 
Thursday in Mike's hometown in the district I represent of Winfield, 
Alabama. Mike's daughter, Alison, wrote a letter to him just a short 
while back, and the words of this letter should echo in our ears and 
our hearts as we consider this resolution today. In her words, "Dear 
Daddy, I miss you dearly. Thank you, Daddy, for making the world a 
better place."
  May we use this resolution today as an opportunity to thank Mike 
Spann and to honor Mike Spann and the rest of the men and women 
fighting the war against terrorism, and for making this world a better 
  Today as we commemorate the 3-month anniversary of September 11, the 
attack on this Nation, our hearts go out to all.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from Alabama (Mr. 
Bachus), who is a strong supporter of this resolution.
  Mr. BACHUS. Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Goss) said 
it best when the gentleman said we are sorry that we are here. We are 
sorry that Johnny Micheal Spann had to die for his country. But we are 
very proud of him. We are proud of his family and the way that they 
have responded to this tragedy.
  We honor the memory and the sacrifice that he made for his family: 
The first American killed in combat by our enemy in Afghanistan. Mr. 
Speaker, yesterday Mike Spann was given a well-deserved hero's burial 
at a place where many of our heroes are buried, Arlington National 
Cemetery. The Nation was focused on his death and on the ceremony.
  Mr. Speaker, in that, the fact that the Nation has followed this 
event and

[[Page H9151]]

has paid respect to this fallen warrior, I think is good. It has not 
always been that way.
  Mr. Speaker, I remember back in 1994 when two Army rangers were 
posthumously given an award at the White House after they fell in 
Somalia. I remember that weekend, there was a car chase in Southern 
California. Members may remember that. It led to a famous murder trial. 
Mr. Speaker, there was no coverage of that ceremony at the White House, 
no coverage of the burial. There was an article on page D5 of the paper 
in Washington, D.C., a short article.
  Mr. Speaker, the Nation has changed in many ways since September 11; 
and one change for the better, Mr. Speaker, is that the Mike Spanns, 
and the hundreds of thousands of young men and women like him, are 
finally given a priority, a priority they should have had.
  Captain Spann reenlisted in the Marines. He served the CIA, and he 
did that, although his country did not make it a priority, but thank 
God he made it a priority to serve and defend his country. Shortly 
before his death he sent an e-mail to his family which read, "What 
everyone needs to understand is these fellows hate you. They hate you 
because you are an American. Support your government and your military, 
especially when the bodies start coming home." Little did he or his 
family or we know that the first body brought home would be his.
  Mr. Speaker, my oldest son graduated from Parris Island. He is a 
Marine. I can understand the pride that this family has in Mike; but I 
cannot imagine what they are going through now. Their worst fears have 
been realized. To lose a son, it is the natural order turned upside 
down. We expect to die before our children, but the Spanns have shown 
great character, great courage and great patriotism, and we can tell 
where Mike got a lot of his courage and bravery and patriotism. As the 
gentleman from Florida (Mr. Goss) and others have said, this is 
shattering experience for a young wife, two little girls and a baby 
boy. To the family I say, they can never take one thing away, and that 
is, that he was the best. I conclude by saying what the gentlewoman 
from California (Ms. Pelosi) quoted Mrs. Spann as saying, Mike was a 
hero not because of the way he died, but rather because of the way he 

                              {time}  1745

  Mr. Speaker, he was a good son, a good husband, a good father to his 
young children, a good U.S. Marine, a good CIA agent, and a God-
fearing, patriotic American.
  Semper fi, Mike Spann.
  Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Speaker, I am very moved by the words of the 
gentleman from Alabama (Mr. Aderholt) and the gentleman from Alabama 
(Mr. Bachus) and extend condolences to them and the people of Alabama 
for the great sacrifice that they have all made as well as the Spann 
  Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the 
distinguished gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Bishop), who is a member of 
the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
  Mr. BISHOP. I thank the gentlewoman for yielding me this time, and I 
rise, Mr. Speaker, in support of this concurrent resolution in honor of 
Johnny Micheal Spann, a fellow native Alabaman, the first known U.S. 
combat casualty in the war in Afghanistan. This is indeed a solemn time 
for all Americans as we realize the tremendous sacrifices made in our 
behalf by the men and women of the United States Armed Forces, our 
intelligence agencies, and by their families. We are all in awe of 
their bravery, their courage, their dedication to our national security 
and their willingness to endure great hardship and great risks in our 
collective behalf. We give great thanks for their service, for Mike's 
service to our country.
  Mike Spann loved his country. He served his country. He was a friend 
to each and every American citizen. Because, as the Good Book says, 
"Greater love hath no man but that he lay down his life for his 
  We honor his memory today and extend our deepest sympathy to his 
family. We are eternally grateful to him and to the brave men and women 
who risk their lives as part of our intelligence community to ensure 
the safety of all Americans and all freedom-loving people throughout 
the world.
  God bless Mike Spann. God bless his family. May God continue to bless 
  Mr. ADERHOLT. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Virginia (Mr. Wolf), who represents the district in which Mike Spann 
and his family were living.
  Mr. WOLF. Mr. Speaker, I join my colleagues today in support of H. 
Con. Res. 281, honoring Johnny Micheal Spann, the first American killed 
in combat during the war against terrorism in Afghanistan. I had the 
opportunity to attend the funeral yesterday, which was very moving.
  Mike Spann was laid to rest yesterday with full honors at Arlington 
National Cemetery. He resided with his wife and family in Manassas 
Park, Virginia, in the 10th Congressional District which I represent. I 
wish these kinds of resolutions never needed to be introduced. I wish 
our world was a peaceful place where there was never any time of war, 
when we never had to call on the brave men and women of our Armed 
Forces and security agencies to fight for our freedoms. But I am 
thankful that when our freedoms must be defended, we have people like 
Mike Spann who are willing to lay their lives on the line for us. Our 
Nation will forever be grateful to Mike Spann for his bravery and 
sacrifice and to all the men and women fighting to defend our Nation 
and willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice for their country and for 
  Mike Spann was a young man, 32 years old. I have four children in 
their thirties and one in their late twenties. He was a former captain 
in the Marine Corps. He was working as an officer in the Central 
Intelligence Agency. He was inside a prison fortress in Mazar-e Sharif, 
Afghanistan, interviewing Taliban prisoners when a prison uprising 
began on Sunday, November 25. He was brutally beaten and shot to death, 
the first American known to be killed in combat in Afghanistan during 
the war.
  Mike Spann is the 79th employee of the Central Intelligence Agency 
killed in the line of duty and will be memorialized with a star on a 
wall of honor at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. Let us hope 
that his will be the last star that is ever necessary to be placed on 
that wall.
  Words are so inadequate at this time in expressing our heartfelt 
sympathies to the family of this brave hero, his mom and dad and his 
sisters, his wife Shannon and his three young children. But they should 
know that the thoughts and prayers of a grateful Congress and Nation 
remain with them.
  Our thoughts and prayers are also with the thousands of men and women 
in service to their country who risk their lives every day fighting to 
assure our freedom and safety.
  Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to the 
distinguished gentleman from Texas (Mr. Reyes), a member of the 
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
  Mr. REYES. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding time 
under these very difficult circumstances, but I rise in strong support 
of H. Con. Res. 281.
  Mr. Speaker, I did not know Mike Spann. I never had the privilege or 
honor of meeting him. But I have had the opportunity and the privilege 
and honor of meeting many in the Central Intelligence Agency, field 
agents like Mike, all doing their work in a very difficult and 
dangerous environment. I would venture to say tonight that if Mike were 
able to join us, he would say something along the lines of, "Just 
doing my job, sir." That has been my experience in meeting men and 
women of the Central Intelligence Agency.
  The fact that his neighbors and friends never knew that he was 
working for the CIA is a testament to the fact that Mike, like 
thousands of other CIA employees all around the world, are defending 
this Nation, its citizens and its freedoms with no expectation of 
thanks, with no expectation of recognition.
  We are here this evening under very difficult and sad circumstances, 
but we are here as grateful Americans honoring an American hero, the 
79th that will be honored on that wall of honor. To Shannon and to his 
mom and dad and all the family and especially the children, we are all 
extremely proud of the true American hero that Mike was. And we are all 
mindful that the things

[[Page H9152]]

that we have, the freedoms that we enjoy, are there for us because of 
people like Mike.
  God has blessed us with Mike. We hope that God blesses his family, 
and we hope that you know how grateful we as Members of Congress are 
for having had Mike Spann as a member of the Central Intelligence 
Agency. A grateful Nation joins all of you in grieving.
  Mr. ADERHOLT. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Connecticut (Mr. Simmons), another strong supporter of this resolution 
who sought me out early on that he wanted to be a supporter of this 
resolution and to speak on it.
  Mr. SIMMONS. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of this resolution 
to honor Johnny Micheal Spann, a Central Intelligence Agency officer 
who was the first American killed in the war against terrorism in 
Afghanistan. He was killed on November 25, 2001, during an uprising of 
Taliban and al Qaeda prisoners in northern Afghanistan. Yesterday he 
was buried with full military honors in the hallowed ground of 
Arlington National Cemetery.
  Micheal Spann's life began in a small Alabama town and ended 
tragically on the other side of the world in an ancient fort near the 
city of Mazar-e Sharif. His death is a loss for his family, for the 
Central Intelligence Agency, and for our country. But his memory will 
live on as an example to all Americans of the values of patriotism, 
courage, and sacrifice.
  Although I never knew Mike Spann, I knew many like him. He was a 
paramilitary officer with the Central Intelligence Agency. I also 
served as a paramilitary officer with the CIA from 1969 to 1974. He 
served in a war zone. I too served in a war zone with the CIA for 2 
years in South Vietnam. I believe that he and I shared the view that 
operations officers for the CIA, and especially paramilitary officers, 
should serve on the front lines of freedom. We know that the work there 
is difficult and dangerous, even deadly. The stakes are high. But that 
is where a paramilitary officer needs to be if he or she is going to 
get the job done. Mike knew what the risks were. He was willing to take 
those risks. A grateful Nation now thanks him for his dedication and 
his sacrifice.
  Mr. Speaker, I represent the second district of Connecticut. Over 200 
years ago, a young man named Nathan Hale was born and raised in my 
district in the town of Coventry. He graduated from Yale College, 
taught school, and joined the Revolutionary Army as a captain. He 
volunteered for a dangerous espionage mission at the request of George 
Washington, was caught by the British, sentenced and hanged as a spy. 
Before his death, he is reported to say, "I only regret that I have 
but one life to lose for my country."
  Nathan Hale is now the official State hero of Connecticut. He is also 
the first intelligence hero in American history. Johnny Micheal Spann 
is the most recent intelligence hero in American history. They both 
lost their lives in defense of freedom, democracy and the values of our 
great Nation. May God bless them and keep them, now and forever.
  Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 1 minute to the 
distinguished gentleman from Maine (Mr. Baldacci).
  Mr. BALDACCI. Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the gentlewoman for 
yielding me this time and to recognize the family and to thank the 
family for allowing us an opportunity to honor Micheal and at the same 
time to honor all of you because you folks have endured the sacrifice 
and allowed for our country to have the foundation of freedom and 
liberties that we all enjoy, and that it does cost lives and that it 
does impact on families.
  Thank you for allowing us to have this opportunity to do it. I would 
like to thank the Members from Alabama who put the resolution forward. 
I know all of my colleagues will be very supportive of this.
  Mr. ADERHOLT. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I urge the passage of this resolution to send a strong bipartisan 
message of solidarity with the Spann family as well as the men and 
women in the intelligence community and the armed services who are 
putting themselves at personal risk to defend this Nation and our 
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I want to join in thanking the Spann family for being with us 
tonight. You honor us with your presence. Mike Spann was an example of 
the best that our country has to offer. Again, I want to extend the 
condolences of all of our colleagues and certainly my constituents to 
his mother and father who are with us, his sisters, his wife, Shannon, 
their baby, Jake, and Alison and Emily. Mike Spann will always be in 
our memory and in our prayers. God bless him and God bless America.
  Mr. CRAMER. Mr. Speaker, I rise to join my colleagues in honoring 
Johnny Michael Spann, the first American killed in combat during the 
war against terrorism in Afghanistan.
  Mike Spann was born and raised in a small town in North Alabama 
called Winfield. Like most kids growing up in small town America, Mike 
grew up with a great love for his country. And it was this great love 
of country that led Mike first to the Marine Corps, where he rose to 
the rank of captain, and later to the CIA, where he fulfilled a 
lifelong dream. Duty, honor, integrity, and patriotism.
  Mr. Speaker, to Mike Spann these were not simply words to be 
carelessly thrown about, but rather they were words that had real 
meaning and were words around which he ordered his life. Indeed it was 
the weight of these words that carried Mike to Afghanistan. For, Mr. 
Speaker, when duty called Mike Spann answered--without hesitation and 
with a quiet and steady dignity that came from an unshakeable belief in 
the righteousness of his mission.
  In a sand blown fort, in a war torn land far from the comforts of his 
home, Mike Spann stood on the front line defending our American values 
and our way of life. Unlike most, Mike Spann understood that the 
freedoms we all cherish do not come without a hefty price. Sadly, he 
paid the ultimate price and gave his life in defense of these cherished 
freedoms. But, as his wife Shannon has said, "Mike is a hero not 
because of the way that he died, but rather because of the way that he 
lived." So, while we mourn his loss, we all can take comfort and pride 
in the knowledge that he gave his life defending the values that shaped 
and animated his life.
  Today, with this resolution we honor him for his bravery and 
sacrifice. And to his family, a grateful nation offers its deepest 
sympathies. This nation and the world are better places because of the 
sacrifice made by Johnny Michael Spann.
  Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Duncan). The question is on the motion 
offered by the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Goss) that the House suspend 
the rules and agree to the concurrent resolution, H. Con. Res. 281.
  The question was taken.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds of 
those present have voted in the affirmative.
  Mr. ADERHOLT. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX and the 
Chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be