Family says Mass. man among 4 dead in Libya attack
WOBURN, Mass. (AP) — Ex-Navy SEAL Glen Doherty, who died in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya this week, wouldn’t want anyone’s sympathy, a friend and former colleague said Thursday.
‘‘Don’t feel sorry for him. He wouldn’t have it,’’ said Brandon Webb, who co-authored a book with Doherty. ‘‘He died serving with men he respected, protecting the freedoms we enjoy as Americans and doing something he loved.’’
Family and friends said Thursday that Doherty, a 42-year-old native of Winchester, just north of Boston, was among three Americans who died Tuesday with U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. He had been working as a private security contractor.
Doherty’s sister Kate Quigley said from their mother’s Woburn home that he ‘‘lived his life to the fullest’’ and the family would grieve for him as a loved one and as an ‘‘American hero.’’
Doherty wrote with Webb a 2010 book called ‘‘The 21st Century Sniper: A Complete Practical Guide.’’ An updated version of the book, about how to become a good marksman, is expected out in January.
On Thursday, Webb called his late friend ‘‘a true quiet professional’’ who knew how to have fun and loved anything involving recreation.
Through Webb, Doherty’s older brother Greg Doherty, of Kensington, Calif., shared an essay about his life. In it, the elder Doherty wrote that his brother grew up in Winchester before attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Arizona.
He flew planes, rode a motorcycle, skied and worked as a whitewater rafting guide on the Colorado River before becoming a Navy SEAL in 1995.
Greg Doherty said his brother’s decision to join the military came from ‘‘a desire to push himself and to use his talents to make genuine change in the world.’’
Glen Doherty worked as a paramedic and sniper in the Middle East, responding to the USS Cole attack among his missions. He also served two tours in Iraq, where, his brother said, he believed in risking his life to try to bring democracy.
He left the Navy in 2005 to do private security work that took him to places including Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen, according to his brother.
While stateside in between contracts, Doherty spent time in the mountains of Utah, with family in Massachusetts and in San Diego, where he'd worked as a fitness trainer.
‘‘His way of making everyone around him feel special and loved came from the fact that he genuinely looked up to all his friends, always seeing their greatness in a way they sometimes wished they could see themselves,’’ his brother wrote.
U.S. Sen. Scott Brown said in a statement that Doherty died fighting to protect Americans at the consulate and ‘‘served our country heroically.’’
Gov. Deval Patrick said the country and Doherty’s native state had ‘‘suffered a great loss in the cause of peace.’’
‘‘Our thoughts and prayers are with Glen Doherty’s family and friends and all those who lost their lives in the horrific attack in Libya this week,’’ he said.
U.S. officials, working with the Libyan government, are investigating whether the assault on the consulate by well-armed Libyan extremists was a planned terrorist strike.
Friends and public officials, including Woburn’s police chief and state Rep. James Dwyer stopped by the home of Doherty’s mother on Thursday to offer condolences.