Jul 29, 2014
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Gulfport Vet's Son Killed in Benghazi Attack

A ceremony today honors the life and sacrifices of Sean Smith.

Gulfport Vet's Son Killed in Benghazi Attack

War veteran Ray Smith of Gulfport will attend a public ceremony at noon today at the Bay Pines VA Medical Center to honor his son, Sean Smith, who will killed on Sept. 11 during an attack on the U.S. consluate in Benghazi, Libya.

"They are doing a dedication to my son," Smith told the Tampa Bay Times. The elder Smith served in Vietnam.

"I am very unhappy that he is dead. He was murdered and they didn't do anything to help him. I am very upset," Smith told the Times.

A plaque will be dedicated in honor of Smith. U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young read the message on the Congressional Record on Nov. 30, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Here is the statement:

"Sean Smith was a native of the Clairemont neighborhood of San Diego, California and seemed destined to serve his nation. His father, Rene 'Ray' Smith, my constituent from Gulfport, Florida, was a Corporal in the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. The elder Smith often served as a 'tunnel rat,' crawling deep into Vietcong underground facilities in search of the enemy. In 1970, during a firefight, he was burned over 60 percent of his body after the brush he was in caught fire. He raised Sean to appreciate the freedoms our nation provides and to be willing to fight for them.

"Sean enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1995 at the age of 17, so young that he needed a parental release. He served six years as a Ground Radio Maintenance Specialist, which included a deployment to Oman. Sean left the Air Force in 2002 as a Staff Sergeant. At the time of his death, Sean was on temporary assignment to assist in the establishment of the Information Technology infrastructure in support of the Mission to Libya. Before his assignment to Benghazi, Sean had given 10 years of dedicated service to the State Department around the globe in Brussels, Baghdad, Pretoria, Montreal, and The Hague.

"A technological guru, Sean's computer savvy was not limited to his United States Air Force and State Department duties. Sean was an avid gamer and well known in the online gaming community of the space fantasy game EVE Online. A leader of the 'Goonswarm' guild, his gaming persona 'Vile Rat' made use of Sean's skills as a diplomat and he was respected as a skilled competitor. Additionally, Sean was a moderator of the internet forum, 'Something Awful,' where he posted about football, politics and working with the Foreign Service."

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