WILTON, Iowa — At a Muscatine County Republicans event Kris Paronto, the former Army Ranger and one of six elite ex-military operatives who responded to the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the American diplomatic compound and covert CIA base in Benghazi, Libya, spoke to a room full of voters.
Paronto recounted the events of what happened the night of the attack to a room full of 350 people at the Wilton Community Center.
"In the process we ended up saving 36 peoples lives but we ended up losing Ambassador Stephens, Sean Smith and two of my teammates, Tyrone Woods, 'Rone', and Glen Doherty 'Bub'," said Paronto, who also goes by 'Tanto'.
The event took place at the Wilton Community Center. Guests paid for a ticket to attend; they had a meal before the speaking portion of the evening.
Towards the beginning of the evening the chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa, Jeff Kaufmann, addressed the crowd.
"Here I get to actually look somebody in the eye that made all this for me, I wouldn't be living in peace and have the opportunity for prosperity and this Wilton guy to be the head of the republican party," said Kaufmann, who is a 7th generation native of Wilton, Iowa. "I wouldn't have any of these opportunities if it weren't for the Kris Paronto's in this world," said Kaufmann, adding that the Hero of Benghazi Labor Day event transcends politics.
Kaufmann introduced United States Senator Joni Ernst, who said the attack on Benghazi points out Hillary Clinton's lack of leadership and that Kris Paronto and his team experienced that first hand.
"[Kris Paronto] was one of those Americans who was virtually left alone to die and fend off attackers in Benghazi," said Senator Ernst.
These days, Kris Paronto travels the country to share what he and his teammates went through the night of the attack.
"People still don't know the truth and people still don't want to listen to the guys that were actually there and people are still being duped by Hillary Clinton and her minions," said Paronto.
Paronto said recounting the events of the attack isn't in the DNA of his teammates, but because the events of that night were getting misconstrued following the attack, they decided as a group it was important to share their account of that night.
"We felt like we just got to our breaking point, and we're like no, we're going to tell the story, the reason we did the book was so it could be A-political. We did the book because we couldn't think of any other way that would keep it down the middle of the road," said Paronto.
Today, Paronto lives in Nebraska. He says he does about twenty speaking appearances a month.