This week marks 10 years since the first American — not a soldier, but a spy — was killed in combat in the decade of war that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
CIA paramilitary officer Johnny Micheal Spann, 32, was killed in a violent uprising at a prison in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan, where he was interrogating detainees captured during the early weeks of the war.
Spann, who went by “Mike,” was survived by a wife, who also worked at the agency, and three young children. As donations began arriving at CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., current and former agency officials created a foundation to help Spann’s children and others who would lose CIA-employed parents in the years to come.
Since its inception in November 2001, the organization has provided financial support and awarded scholarships to three spouses, and 47 children, of CIA officers killed on duty. In the current school year, the foundation is expected to award more than $500,000 to 28 students and two spouses.
To call attention to its work, and encourage new donations, the organization has posted new material on its Web site marking the 10-year anniversary of Spann’s death.
Spann’s wife, Shannon, has since left the CIA. Another CIA officer who was working alongside Spann in the Mazar-e-Sharif prison survived the uprising and is still an employee of the CIA, officials said.
The agency marks the deaths of officers killed on duty with stars on a wall at the agency’s headquarters at Langley. Spann’s was the 79th star. The CIA has added 23 stars since then.