Monday at the Bay Pines Medical Center Congressman Bill Young arranged for a special ceremony and plaque to honor a combat veteran who lost his son in the Benghazi Consulate attack September 11th.
Ray Smith saw a lot of death and destruction as a Marine in Vietnam. But none of that prepared him for the news of his son Sean's death.
Because Smith is estranged from his family he found out by watching live TV news coverage when the bodies of the four men killed in Benghazi returned home in flag-draped caskets.
"My son was a hero and he gave his life," said the elder Smith. "He should have been decorated for what he did."
Monday, an honor guard lined the front of the hospital as Smith made his way to a special room where VA families receive counseling for medical issues. That's the room where Congressman Young had arranged for a special plaque commemorating Sean's ten years of State Department Service as a computer expert and his violent death at the hands of terrorists in Benghazi.
The plaque features Smith's portrait and part of a speech that Young entered into the congressional record about Smith. Smith's father hugged the image, then saluted it before turning to the friends, supporters and media who crowded into the small room.
"It gives me a feeling that part of him is home, part of him is back," said Smith. "It's not how I wanted him to come home but at least I have something."
Smith says he's wracked by bitterness over what happened and can't get answers about why the consulate a wasn't better protected when terrorists stormed the compound, killing the Ambassador and three others--including his son.
"He was butchered, he was murdered," said Smith. "I'm putting sole blame on the president of the United States for letting this happen. I want some answers."
Congressman Bill Young says he keeps pressing for answers but can't get any because the circumstances surrounding the deadly attack remain under investigation.
"I don't know how long it will take to investigate but the people of America basically are demanding answers, " said Young. "And my constituents are demanding of me that I get the answers.
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