One of the many holiday traditions at Cordeiro Manor is the tradition of going around the Thanksgiving Day table and having each member of the assembled hoard explain a few things said hoard member is thankful for.

As getting the PD hoard around any table is not possible (I’m pretty sure Whodat would eat and drink me out of house and home) I’ll rise to a point of personal privilege and share with you one of mine.

I’m thankful for Mike Spann – and guys like him.

You may (or hopefully may not) be wondering just exactly who Mike Spann is. I’ll be happy to fill you in.

In the days and weeks following September 11, 2001, the order went forth from the White House to find those responsible for the terrorist attacks and inflict justice upon them. Johnny Micheal “Mike” Spann volunteered to be one of the first “boots on the ground” in Afghanistan as a part of the elite CIA paramilitary force deployed there.

While most of us were hanging Christmas lights and otherwise recovering from Thanksgiving 2001, Mike was dealing with lowlife terrorist scumbags at a prison near Mazari Sharif in northern Afghanistan. On November 25, 2001 the prisoners rioted and Mike became the first American casualty in what we used to call the Global War on Terror.

Mike literally waded into hell for a heavenly cause. At CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia the Memorial Wall is engraved with 90 stars. Mike Spann is memorialized with number 79. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery and the memorial below was constructed at the Qala-i-Jangi Fortress in Afghanistan where Mike gave his last full measure of devotion for his country.

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This Thanksgiving, most of us will gather around the table to render thanks for the many blessings which we have received this year. This year, more than ever, I’m grateful for guys like Mike Spann – rough men who stand ready to protect and defend this great nation so that we here at home can sleep peaceably.

Godspeed, Mike.

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