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Kris "Tonto" Paronto Speaks at ERAU Prescott in Support of Doherty Scholarship

18 April 2016  

Paronto shared his account of what happened in Benghazi.

Glen Doherty was there. September 11, 2012. In Benghazi. But, Doherty, author, former Navy Seal, private security contractor and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) didn’t survive the attack on the embassy and nearby CIA complex.

Doherty, along with Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, and Tyrone Woods were the Americans killed when Islamic militants attacked the Diplomatic compound in Benghazi.

ERAU is home to the nation’s first college of Security & Intelligence, which is named after Glen A. Doherty. During the dedication in April, 2014, Dr. Philip Jones, Dean of the Glen A. Doherty Center for Security & Intelligence Studies, explained, "We are proudly naming this new facility for Glen to honor his sacrifice and to emphasize the urgent and growing need for highly skilled professionals in risk assessment, counterterrorism, cybersecurity, forensics, and global security and intelligence. Our new college, the first of its kind in the United States, meets this need with a comprehensive range of degree programs.”

See: Embry-Riddle Prescott to Dedicate Collee of Security & Intelligence to Graduate.

Now, ERAU students and supporters are creating a scholarship in Doherty’s honor. On Thursday, the College Republicans brought Benghazi hero Kris “Tonto” Paronto to Prescott to speak as part of a fundraising effort for the Glen Doherty Scholarship. Paronto, a former Army Ranger, was part of the CIA annex security team that defended Americans against the attacks on 9-11-2012.

Paronto, who chose to forego his normal speaking fee in support of the scholarship, told his story to a standing-room-only crowd of more than 900 people. Paronto spoke matter-of-factly about the events of that night, offering humor, poignancy and a deeper insight into what really happened.

Afterwards, Paronto met up with a group of students from Libya, where they spoke of familiar places. Paronto told them of some of his favorite Libyan restaurants and the students nodded enthusiastically. They posed for quick photos, then Paronto headed to a table for a book signing. Despite the fact that well over a hundred people stood in line with books, t-shirts and posters in hand, Paronto cordially greeted each one individually and wrote personalized notes in the books. He even took time for photos if asked.

Senator Kelli Ward explained why she came:

The College Republicans raised $11,000 towards the scholarship.

The shirt Paronto wore referenced a Bible verse that says it all, John 15:13:

"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends."

Lynne LaMaster

Lynne LaMaster is the Founder and Editor of the eNewsAZ Network of websites. She asks a lot of questions! In her spare time, she loves photography, cooking and hanging out with her family.