Energetic and adventure-seeking, Wirtz knew from a young age he wanted to be a Navy SEAL, family members said Friday morning on their way to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to receive his remains.
“He never really was into swimming, but he wanted to join the Navy and he especially wanted to be a SEAL,” his mother Sandy Wirtz said.
Like most of his other goals in life, Wirtz accomplished that objective. He spent most of his Navy career from 1998 to 2005 assigned to the Coronado, Calif.-based SEAL Team 5, where he specialized as a sniper. He served combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and also deployed to locations in Africa, the Philippines and South Korea, according to his mother.