A St. Louis man is among four Americans killed this week in a suicide bombing attack in Syria. Governor Mike Parson says a Pentagon official called to inform him that Scott Wirtz died in Wednesday’s attack.
“Scott died bravely, serving our nation in a dangerous part of the world. For that, we are grateful,” says the Republican governor and U.S. Army veteran. “We want to thank his family for his service. We also ask all Missourians to join in prayer for the family and other brave men and women that are serving our country.”
Wirtz, 42, was serving as an operations support specialist and civilian member of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Operations support specialists manage, guide, and oversee human intelligence collection operations enabling DOD to meet national security information requirements.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of this patriot,” says DIA Director Lt. Gen. Robert P. Ashley, Jr. “This is a stark reminder of the dangerous missions we conduct for the nation and of the threats we work hard to mitigate. As President Lincoln described on the fields at Gettysburg, this officer gave the last full measure of devotion.”
The other Americans killed were two U.S. military members and a civilian contractor there to support Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S.-led coalition battling the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. They were killed when the suicide bomber on foot detonated an explosive vest at a restaurant in the northern Syrian city of Manbij as they were having lunch after a meeting with local military officials.
Wirtz served in the U.S. Navy and as a Navy SEAL. His military awards and decorations include the SEAL Insignia, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon and Pistol Expert Medal. His DIA awards include the Secretary of Defense Medal for the Global War on Terrorism.
The death came just weeks after President Trump said the United States had spilled too much blood with little outcome in Syria and called for the 2,000 American troops to come home.
Trump traveled to Delaware’s Dover Air Force Base on Saturday to pay his respects as the remains arrived in the United States.