Columbia, SC (WLTX)- Former Ambassdor David Wilkins knows the duties and honor of being selected to serve your country diplomatically. He was nominated by President George W. Bush to become the United States Ambassador to Canada back in 2005 after a long career in the South Carolina State House.
"It was great to be able to get up every morning and say to yourself 'you get to represent the greatest country in the world'," said Wilkins, a partner at the Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough law firm.
He also knows the potential dangers. But those possibilities turned into a grim reality Tuesday for Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, when they were killed during an attack on the American compound in Benghazi, Libya.
Wilkins says the loss of a fellow ambassador is like losing a family member.
"It is a blow to anyone who served for their country, your job as an ambassador is to get out among all of the people. You can't stay guarded up in your compound, you get nothing done that way. This is what Ambassador Stevens was known for, he was a very active diplomat."
Wilkins says this is a very graphic reminder that you must always be vigilant and you can't let your guard down.
"We are in a war and you have to treat it that way, you can't pamper these folks. We must deal with them forcefully," said Wilkins.
The U.S has vowed to track down those behind the killings.
"This is a serious matter and we have to take it seriously," said Wilkins.