Alumnus Kris Paronto
CMU alumnus Kris Paronto will speak on campus about his experiences fighting in Benghazi, Libya.


CMU alumnus will speak about his experience in the Battle of Benghazi

The Colorado Mesa University family may feel a particular connection to the movie 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, which opened in theaters on Jan. 15. One of the American security operatives portrayed in the film is alumnus Kris “Tanto” Paronto, who graduated from the university in 1995. On Jan. 27, Paronto will talk about his experience in Benghazi, Libya, in CMU’s Meyer Ballroom.

A criminal justice major at CMU, Paronto is a former U.S. Army Ranger and private security contractor. According to his website, he was part the CIA annex security team that responded to the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack on the U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi. Paronto and the other operatives defended the diplomatic compound for 13 hours, saving more than 20 lives.

He collaborated with his fellow operatives and New York Times-bestselling author Mitchell Zuckoff on the 2014 book 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi. The film is based on the book.

Paronto will speak to current CMU students in Brownson Arena at 3pm on Jan. 27. Tickets to the public event that evening are sold out.

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