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December 20, 2012

An American Hero

By Rick Winterson

  Glen Doherty, a victim of the 9/11 attack on our consulate in Benghazi (Libya), was a true American Hero.  He gave his life to protect others. He was remembered at a “time” last month at Barlow’s.  The money raised will support the Glen Doherty Memorial Foundation for assisting Special Operations Professionals and their families.

  The echoes of 9/11, the deadliest enemy action ever inflicted upon American soil, are still with us.  Make no mistake, it was not a coincidence that the attack on our American Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, took place last September 11, 2012.  And it was not a so-called “spontaneous demonstration”.  Four Americans died.  Those in the Middle East or the Maghreb that hate us continue to hate us; they’ll do anything in the guise of religion to hurt us whenever they can.

  This article is about Glen Doherty, one of the four Americans killed in Benghazi.  By any definition, he is an American Hero. 

  The attack began on the day of September 11, the eleventh anniversary of the attacks on New York’s World Trade Towers and the Pentagon.  Glen fought hard throughout the night, saving an unknown number of lives by his heroic actions.  He died during a mortar attack early on the morning of September 12.  He died serving with men he respected, protecting his fellow Americans, and pursuing a career he loved.  The mortar shell that claimed his life was not fired by a disorganized bunch of spontaneous demonstraters

  You can rightly ask why a local paper such as South Boston Online is reporting on a tragic death in Libya, some 4,000 miles away.  And especially since three other Americans died with Glen Doherty – Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith, and Tyrone Woods, a member of the same security team as Glen Doherty.  Those three gave their lives, too.  Tyrone and Doherty were manning a machine gun, when a fatal mortar round came through the roof of the CIA Annex they were defending.

  Well, Glen Doherty was from around here.  He’s local.  His father Ben lives in Charlestown; his mother Barbara resides in Woburn; Glen grew up in the suburb of Winchester.  The Glen Doherty Memorial Foundation debuted here in South Boston.  The Foundation’s kickoff event was held at Barlow’s at 241 A Street a month ago on November 24 – it was a true “Southie time”.  More about Glen’s Foundation later.

  During the crowded, standing-room-only “time” at Barlow’s on November 24, it quickly became apparent to this writer how remarkable Glen Doherty and the life he lived were.  His father Ben was a chicken farmer and a former state Boxing Commissioner; his mother Barbara was the owner of The Candy Castle Store in Lexington.  They raised their children to be loving, tough, hard-working, and family minded.

  Glen went to the Riddle Aeronautical University in Arizona, where he became an accomplished pilot.  He was a phenomenal skier, white-water rafter, and tri-athlete.  He joined the Navy SEALS in 1995, qualifying as both a sniper and a paramedic.  His decorations were numerous; all we can say is that many are still classified.  Much of his stint in the SEALS was served on two rebuilt knees after 9/11.  To cap his career as a SEAL, he wrote an operations book entitled “The 21st Sniper:  A Complete Practical Guide”.

  Glen then worked as a private security contractor/consultant in the Middle East, which is where he met his end.  One of his friends at the November 24 “time”, who asked not to be named, said, “Glen knew what he was doing.  During his life, he did a lot of great things.  There’s no doubt that Glen was an American Hero.  He saved a lot of American lives.  At the end of the day, those lives he saved are part of his legacy.”

  His mother Barbara talked about what a wonderful son Glen was – “He pledged his life to his family and friends.”  Glen’s sister Katie (Doherty) Quigley is heading the Glen Doherty Memorial Foundation.  Her fondest memories of him include his social skills, and his ability to celebrate life.  He was everyone’s friend, all the time.   

  The Glen Doherty Memorial Foundation was set up by Glen’s family and friends soon after his death in September.  The Foundation’s mission:  To bring education and recreation to those in need.  By paying forward Glen’s love for learning and his passion for igniting the human spirit through adventure, the Foundation aims to bring joy and personal advancement to many.  They do this knowing that Glen’s spirit will continue to touch us all.

  Even more commendable is the focus of the Glen Doherty Memorial Foundation.  The focus is current and former Special Operations Professionals from all branches of our government.  These men and women of courage will get the support necessary to transition into and to succeed in civilian life.  In addition, the children of these brave Americans will be enabled to grow and mature.  Scholarships, subsidies, grant, and gifts will be the tools the Foundation uses to meet these goals.

  The friends and family of Glen Doherty have their own unique kind of courage.  They’ve looked beyond their grief to memorialize Glen’s love, spirit, and passion for life.  You can honor Glen’s memory yourself.  “Pay it forward!” to the Glen Doherty Memorial Foundation.  Tax-deductible donations can be sent to P.O. Box 716, Marblehead, MA  01945 or to www.GlenDohertyFoundation.org.



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