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SAN DIEGO — Two of the Americans killed Tuesday in the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, were former Navy SEALs from San Diego County who always asked to be on the front lines, family, friends and government officials said.
Tyrone S. Woods and Glen A. Doherty, who both provided security at the consulate, were killed in the Tuesday attack along with U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and State Department employee Sean Smith, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in a statement Thursday.
Woods, 41, was from Imperial Beach south of San Diego and Doherty, a native of Massachusetts, had lived in Encinitas, north of San Diego.
"Tyrone S. Woods and Glen A. Doherty were both decorated military veterans who served our country with honor and distinction," Clinton's statement said.
Woods, a Navy SEAL for two decades whose friends called him "Rone," served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, Clinton said. Since 2010 he had protected American diplomats in posts from Central America to the Middle East.
Dr. Timothy Rasmusson, Woods' former brother-in-law, said Woods was a hard-charging Navy SEAL who joined the military straight out of high school and went to work for military contractors after leaving the service a few years ago. To unwind, he drove his motorcycle and Ford Mustang at top speeds.
"He was like a guy out of the movies," Rasmusson said. "He was on the edge. He was always volunteering for the mission. He always wanted to be on the front line. Everything was full speed."
Rasmusson said Woods and his sister, Patricia Ann So, divorced about 10 years ago and have rarely spoken, though the split was amicable. They had two teenage boys, Tyrone Jr. and Hunter, who live in San Diego with their mother.
Woods is also survived by his wife and another son, Kai, who was born a few months ago.
Doherty, 42, worked in private security around the world since leaving the Navy in 2005, and between stints worked as a personal trainer in the San Diego area.
A native of Winchester, Mass., just north of Boston, he wrote a 2010 book called "The 21st Century Sniper: A Complete Practical Guide" along with friend and former colleague Brandon Webb. An updated version of the book, about how to become a good marksman, is expected out in January.
Webb told The Associated Press his friend wouldn't have sought sympathy.
"Don't feel sorry for him. He wouldn't have it," Webb said. "He died serving with men he respected, protecting the freedoms we enjoy as Americans and doing something he loved."
Doherty became a Navy SEAL in 1995. He worked as a paramedic and sniper in the Middle East, responding to the destroyer Cole attack among his missions, and served two tours in Iraq.
Along with his brother, his survivors include his parents, Bernard and Barbara, and a sister, Kathleen.