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Benghazi survivors shares what he experienced the night of the attacks

Posted at 10:10 PM, Sep 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-01 01:19:42-04

Speaking at the DoubleTree hotel in Tucson, former U.S. Army Ranger Kris Paronto recalls the sights and feelings he showed up at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, moments after it was attacked.

"A fiery, destructive mess," he said.

Only four members of his team of six came back -- himself included. Now, four years later, he spends his time speaking to groups of people, sharing his story. But with Benghazi controversy still surrounding elements of the presidential election, he hopes the story doesn't get lost in the politics.

"It's about Ty and Glenn that died that night, trying to save over 30 lives," Paronto said. "It's about the four remaining members of us that fought and bled and still have physical and emotional scars from it."

Some call him a hero, yet while speaking to groups, he doesn't make the story about himself.

"I'm called a hero, I hate it. I'm not a hero," Paronto said. "I did my job."

Rather, he lets people know how his two fallen soldiers are heroes -- the "ultimate patriots," to him.

"They are the heroes," he said. "They gave the ultimate sacrifice."

A life-changing experience, his new mantra is simple: never, ever, give up.

"When you give up, you've quit and you've failed," he said. "And when you do that, that can affect others around you. And in a military sense, you quit, other people die."