Sean P. Smith, one of four killed in the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11, was a Falls Church resident. He was 34.
Smith was one of four Americans, including Chris Stevens, the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, who was killed in the attack. According to multiple reports, Smith, a native of San Diego, enlisted in the Air Force in 1995 at age 17. He served six years as a ground radio maintenance specialist, including a deployment to Oman, before leaving the service in 2002 as a staff sergeant. He was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal. Smith, who had worked at the State Department for 10 years, was in Libya on a temporary assignment when he was killed. Before his temporary assignment to Benghazi, Smith served for the State Department in Brussels, Baghdad, Pretoria, Montreal and The Hague.
Smith was well known in the online gaming community as an avid participant of the space fantasy game EVE Online, where he was known as “Vile Rat,” one of the leaders of a gamers’ alliance and renowned for his diplomatic skill in the multi-player space warfare simulation. “If you play this stupid game, you may not realize it, but you play in a galaxy created in large part by Vile Rat’s talent as a diplomat,” said Smith’s friend Alex Gianturco, in a tribute posted on his website. “No one focused as relentlessly on using diplomacy as a strategic tool as VR.”