Two of the four Americans killed in Tuesday's attack in Libya were former U.S. Navy SEALS from San Diego County.
Tyrone Woods, 41, of Imperial Beach and Glen Doherty, 42, of Encinitas, both former U.S. Navy SEALs, died when protestors broke through security at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
"It doesn't seem real," Woods’ ex-wife Patty So told NBC 7 San Diego Thursday hours after she had been notified by a someone at a government agency in Virginia.
"He was the greatest Navy SEAL. Nobody was more skilled than him," So said. "He loved being a SEAL more than life itself. "
Doherty, a native of Winchester, Mass., was a trained SEAL sniper who worked as a private security contractor in countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen.
His sister, Kate Quigly, confirmed her brother's death Thursday. She said he was employed to protect U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and foreign service member Sean Smith, the other two victims in the violence.
Former Navy SEAL Brandon Webb, who co-authored the book "21st Century Sniper: A Complete Practical Guide" with Doherty said, "He died serving with men he respected, protecting the freedoms we enjoy as Americans and doing something he loved."
"He was a best friend and one of the finest human beings I've ever known,” Webb said.
Glen Doherty entered the SEALs in 1995 and ended his military service in 2005.
When in San Diego, Doherty worked as a Kokoro Camp Trainer at a company called SEALFIT in Encinitas, helping in classes modeled after the famous Navy SEAL Hell Week.
When members of the media arrived at the gym early Thursday, clients and co-workers were just learning about the news of Doherty's death.
His friends remembered a man who enjoyed the beach and the mountains of Utah, a man who wouldn't let a day go by without spending some part of it enjoying the outdoors.
"His fearlessness took many forms throughout his life, but was always at his core," brother Greg Doherty said in a written statement.
The 42-year-old was in a long-term relationship with girlfriend Shannon Shepherd and kept the same group of friends he had in elementary school.
"Don't cry for Glen, he would not approve," said "SH9", friend and former Navy SEAL. "Celebrate a man who lived well and died with a gun is his hands, fighting for those too weak to fight for themselves.”
While NBC 7 San Diego is still learning details of Tyrone Woods' military career, we have learned he once owned The Salty Frog bar in Imperial Beach and is currently married to a local La Jolla dentist named Dorothy who’s also served in the Navy.
Woods – known as “Ty” -- is survived by three sons, 18-year-old Tyrone Jr. and 15-year-old Hunter from his first marriage to So, and an infant named Kai from his current marriage.
Woods was a registered nurse and paramedic and had protected American diplomatic personnel in posts from Central America to the Middle East since 2010.
On Thursday, NBC 7 spoke with Woods’ mother, Cheryl Croft Bennett, from her home in Oregon.
Croft Bennett spoke of her son’s life and unrelenting bravery in the line of duty.
“He was doing something he obviously wanted to do, he was driven to do and he was very good at it," said Croft Bennett. “He was the guy you wanted to have in your corner if you were in a tight situation."
After retiring from the SEALS, Woods went on to own The Salty Frog bar in Imperial Beach until selling it a few years ago.
It was during that time that Woods met and fell in love with a local dentist named Dorothy.
Woods’ neighbor, Maribel, who did not want to appear on camera, said Woods and his wife were inseparable.
"He loved Dorothy he really loved her. They were never not together. Like you could see it and feel it, they were that much in love," Maribel told NBC 7.
The neighbor, who lives next door to the couple’s Imperial Beach home, said Woods had a wonderful sense of humor – even on the day he proposed to Dorothy at the beach.
"He joked with her all the time. He acted like he dropped her ring in the water, but he didn't,” recalled Maribel.
Maribel said Woods and Dorothy moved to a home in Henderson, Nev., about three months ago. Dorothy recently gave birth to their son, Kai.
"I feel so sad because I can't imagine what she's going through," added Maribel.