Two former Navy SEALS from San Diego County who were killed during riots in Libya on the anniversary of 9/11 were mourned by President Barack Obama Friday for laying down their lives while protecting their friends.
Glen Doherty, 42, of Encinitas, and Tyrone Woods, 41, of Imperial Beach, were killed Tuesday along with Ambassador Chris Stevens and Sean Smith, an information technology specialist, when an armed force attacked the consulate compound in Benghazi.
At a ceremony where their remains were returned to U.S. soil at Joint Base Andrews—the former Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington, D.C.—Obama and U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton praised the men in front of their families and federal personnel.
Obama said Doherty served with distinction in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“In Benghazi, as he tended to others, he laid down his life—loyal as always, protecting his friends,” Obama said.
The president said Woods also served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and noted he left behind three sons.
“Know this, their sacrifice will never be forgotten,” Obama said. “We will bring to justice those who took them from us.”
He and Clinton both said the U.S. will not back down from its place of leadership in the world.
Clinton called the fallen “patriots and heroes.”
She said Doherty and Woods worked to protect diplomatic personnel in dangerous countries, and both were trained as paramedics. Additionally, Woods was a registered nurse.
Woods, a SEAL for two decades, had sons ages 15 and 18, and a third son born recently, Clinton said. He owned The Salty Frog bar in Imperial Beach until 2009.
Doherty worked locally as a trainer at the CrossFIT/SEALFIT Gym in Encinitas. His biography on the gym’s website said he was a SEAL for nine years and retired in 2005.
The anti-American unrest this week in Libya, Egypt, Yemen and other Muslim countries is tied to a movie filmed in Southern California and virtually unheard of until a segment of it appeared on YouTube.
The White House said there was no actionable intelligence before the Libya attack, and no evidence the assault was planned in advance.
Unrest spread Friday into Nigeria, Sudan and Tunisia. Riots have also occurred in Egypt and Yemen.
-City News Service