Former U.S. Navy SEALS, Ty Woods and Glen Doherty (L-R) were working as private security contractors in Libya according to their families.
The four Americans killed in an attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya were honored for their service to the nation at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.
The bodies of the men returned to the U.S. in flag-draped coffins on a C-17 via Germany Friday.
After meeting with families of the victims, President Barack Obama called the men patriots who served America's ideals -- and laid down their lives for others.
"Tyrone S. Woods and Glen A. Doherty were both decorated military veterans who served our country with honor and distinction," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement released Thursday. "Our thoughts, prayers, and deepest gratitude are with their families and friends.
The bodies were transported to Dover AFB where they were scheduled to be released to their families for burial.
Along with Secretary Clinton, the president vowed to protect U.S. diplomatic personnel on foreign soil.
“We will bring to justice those who took them from us,” President Obama said at the ceremony. “We will stand fast against the violence on our diplomatic missions.”
Originally from Winchester, Massachusetts, Doherty served nine years as a Navy SEAL and served in Iraq. He was an accomplished sniper and worked as a private security contractor in some of the most volatile spots of the world. See images
Doherty left the Navy in 2005, co-authored a book on SEAL snipers and often worked as a trainer at an intense fitness company in Encinitas that offered courses modeled after the infamous Hell Week.
Woods served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan as a SEAL. After retiring, he opened a bar in Imperial Beach. For the past two years he worked as diplomatic security for the State Department.
His mother, Cheryl Croft Bennett, said Woods was the type of guy you would want in your corner if you were in trouble. Watch video
"He was doing something he obviously wanted to do, he was driven to do and he loved doing it," she told NBC 7 San Diego.
Woods recently moved to a home in Henderson, Nevada with his wife Dorothy. The couple just welcomed a son named Kai. Woods leaves behind two other sons, ages 15 and 18, from a previous marriage.