Thomas Retzer was born on March 10, 1973, in San Diego, California. After graduating from high school, he briefly began working on a math degree at San Diego State University before enlisting in the Navy in 1993.
After he completed basic training at the Naval Training Center San Diego in 1993, and subsequent Interior Communications Electrician training, Retzer attended Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training in Coronado, California from August 1994 to April 1995. He then went to Basic Airborne training at Fort Benning, Georgia, in May 1995. Retzer then served with SEAL Team 3 based in Coronado from June 1995-2001. He then screened for Naval Special Warfare Development Group.
Over the course of his career, Retzer deployed to Afghanistan multiple times as well as during the early stages of the invasion of Iraq. On June 25, 2003, he was severely wounded in action while engaged in a heavy firefight after his convoy was attacked outside of Gardez, Afghanistan. He passed away a day later.
During his service, Retzer received two Bronze Star Medals with “V” for valor.
We honor his service.
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Fact checker: Vivian Hurney