Kris "Tanto" Paronto | 13 Hours CIA GRS Benghazi Soldier & Former Army Ranger | TALK4 Podcast EP 086 - LouisSkupien
Louis Skupien and Kris "Tanto" Paronto

 

In this episode we spoke with Tanto about his career, how he wound up in Benghazi, what the REAL 13 Hours was like, how he got through it, character trivia, mental toughness advice and more!

 

 👉🏻 Kris Paronto - “Tanto” as he is affectionately known in security contracting circles - is a former Army Ranger from 2nd Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment and a private security contractor who has deployed throughout South America, Central America, the Middle East and North Africa. He also worked with the US Government’s Global Response Staff conducting low profile security in high threat environments throughout the world.. Kris was part of the CIA annex security team that responded to the terrorist attack on the US Special Mission in Benghazi, Libya on September 11th, 2012, helping to save over 20 lives while fighting off terrorists from the CIA Annex for over 13 hours. Kris and his fellow brothers-in-arms story is told in the book 13 Hours written by Mitchell Zuckoff. Kris was born in Alamosa, Colorado, and obtained his Associate Degree from Dixie College (now Dixie State University) in St. George, Utah, Bachelor’s Degree from Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Colorado, and Master's Degree from The University of Nebraska at Omaha. He served 4 years in the US Army and an additional 4 years in the US Army National Guard; reaching the rank of Sergeant, then becoming a commissioned officer in 2003. He started contracting for Blackwater Security Consulting in 2003, and continued to deploy on various security contracts, including the Global Response Staff, until 2013.

 

THINGS WE DISCUSSED:

 

 00:00 Talk4 EP 086 intro by Louis Skupien

00:41 Who is Kris Tanto Paronto?

02:36 Tanto's backstory and becoming a Ranger

08:10 How did Tanto wind up in Benghazi before 13 Hours

15:37 Working with Pablo Schreiber to make 13 Hours accurate

21:27 How hard actually was the night of 13 Hours in Benghazi?

35:07 What are the biggest take homes from 13 Hours and lessons learned?

48:49 Outro and thank you!

 


🎧 HOW TO LISTEN ⬇️


This episode is available to listen to on all platforms by clicking the link below or visiting the @talk4podcast Instagram Page, following the link in bio and choosing any of your favourite platforms!

👉🏻 TUNE IN HERE 👈🏻


✅ Apple podcasts
✅ Spotify
✅ YouTube
✅ Google Podcasts
✅ Amazon Music
✅ Overcast
✅ Radio Public
✅ Anchor
✅ Castbox
✅ Pocket Casts
✅ Stitcher

 

Transcript

hey what's up guys and welcome to episode 86 of talk 4 the quickfire podcast where we ask four great questions to unique and interesting people behind the mic today is your host Lou scoan that's me and let me introduce our incredible guest for today Chris Tanto Pono is going to be answering our questions today Chris welcome aboard the talk for podcast brother please just you know say hi to the Fine people listening and just give us a quick rundown of who you are and what you do and then we'll shoot some questions man Lou B man it's an honor buddy and thank you for all your listeners out there if they're listening to this or watching my ugly face man God bless y'all I appre I appreciate it but uh my name's Chris uh my call sign was Tonto some of you may know the story background I was an Army Ranger uh for for several years and then I worked with the Ci's Global Response staff as well as other Contracting companies uh and Contracting missions around the world um the name Tano if you know it you probably know it from the movie 13 hours uh it was a Michael Bay movie that came out in a book of the same name the secret soldiers of Benghazi where my team and myself uh tried to rescue in a master and Sean's and a it it person from the state department Sean Smith and Christopher Stevens and in that rescue mission we got left behind and we I lost two of my teammates Tyron woods and Glen dhy former Navy Seals so that may be where you know it and it may be from some of my pages out there but that's me in a nutshell buddy and I'm just an old man grouchy that's just uh living in the midwest oh man that's awesome and um yeah look dude I just want to lead with just how proud and honored I am to have you here you know reading up in you watching the movie listening to you it makes me a truly proud American which is funny because I'm 100% British which is is odd I suppose but yeah I feel it man and I'm just so honored to have you here you're a legend dude thanks man thanks Lou and I ain't no Legend I served with two of them and man I got to watch those guys you know especially Ron and Bub and several others throughout the 10 years of my deploying in global R many many many many Legends many many Heroes that I got to serve with and that are no longer with us but man it showed me what the true meaning of heroism is so but thank you thank you for saying that and and again it's an honor and it's always wonderful to get 13 hours out there magazi out there so nobody forgets that even though here some people in our country want that to go away but with shows like yourself it never will absolutely man well that's the that's the mission like I said at the start it's unique and interesting people you've got a great story to tell and I can't wait to dig into it so man question one let's rewind a bit then so kind of take me through your backstory you know where are you from why did you want to join the military in the first place and just kind of guide us into becoming a ranger and passing selection yeah I never really wanted to be in the military now I read a lot of books growing up I I loved reading what we have books in America from the Vietnam Rangers they were called Charlie Ranger books and they were the lert teams and I read those all the time long range reconnaissance patrols really cool they're called Hunter Killer teams so you know as a kid growing up and I'm growing up in in smalltown America and like man that's cool I want to be in the Army but I kind of thought forgot about that high school and college because I was in athletics and we talked about that before we started recording you know both of us are athletes I played football had a scholarship to to college and I I was going to go play football but when you're short and you're slow the NFL is not going to be calling you here in America so um the Army just worked out that way I was I just happened to see an army recruiter during the final days of my graduation there uh at uh car de University and he just called me over and basically I think he suckered me in recruiters are awesome military recruiters are fantastic here in America and he's like hey man come see these cool videos and there was a ranger video then there was a Navy guy right next to him so I got to see the co video and then uh and then the marine guys were there so there's a force Recon which are now the Raiders or marock and I just like I like I'll be honest I like the Beret I like the Rangers I like the scroll I I liked that it was difficult they all were difficult but it just I don't know the Army just kind of said that's that's that route and I signed up and um yeah so have my bachelor degree graduated college and then all of a sudden I'm enlisting in the Army which really isn't the route usually you enlist you come to college and and then I just went in the Army and um the first time I was in Louie I'll be you know a lot of people that have read the ranger way have a book I wrote the ranger way after 13 hours I actually got thrown out of the military the first time I was in they didn't realize they think I went straight through no actually I got in trouble and for sake of time I won't go into it you can read the book if you want to read the ranger way but I I got thrown out and actually that's where I went to grad school for two years and luckily for me God bless you know somebody God's looking down on me I did manage to get an honorable discharge I didn't deserve it but I got it the first time I was out so after those two years of me going to grad school I you know when when you're a special officer or anything you don't quit and and I was like man I cannot let this this it was hanging over you know the Army I I cannot let that be what happened to me in the Army so I'm 20 years from now and I didn't do what I set out to do so I reenlisted back in went back in infantry I did it all over again I did infantry Airborne I did Ranger all over again and um went to Ranger school you know Ranger school sucks the stories of Ranger school are spoton if you know about me we don't eat we don't sleep it's just miserable but hell of an experience and I went through in the winter time so I froze my balls off as well which was miserable um but managed to get there and and in my life you know after after you get through that and I've got back through in the military uh things just took off I actually became a commission officer so from getting kicked out of the military to being a must what we call a Mustang uh enlisted time became became a sergeant then I became a commission officer and then uh and then I got sick with crohn's disease and Dam near killed me and I had to get medically discharged again you know life just takes these weird turns and I thought well [ __ ] you know here's my life this was my career was to go to Del Rangers then go be an officer in Delta that's not going to happen and right around that time is when Contracting uh paramilitary Contracting started get big you know Blackwater Triple Canopy you know you guys had Olive group there in the UK which was a big company at the time uh control risk group Edinburg risk which was a big big uh British company as well coming out then a lot of South African companies and I got in at that ground level I got a phone call sick as hick as hell and they said hey we got your name from another Ranger do you want to be a contractor I didn't know what that was then they explained it to me and I was like well [ __ ] yeah I I I'm not do anything and I remember they said are you well are are you okay are you you healthy enough to go BEC and I wasn't but we didn't have to go through Med checks back for a contract engager a private CI so I said yeah I'm good and I just loaded up on PR prazone and and mamine anti-inflammatories and I went through their vetting course in moyak in 2003 and then I was shipped off and that's where that's where the Contracting R took off and that's where it led to GRS working with the CIA in Libya you know almost 10 11 years later wow man I mean that just is the roller coaster isn't it it was it's just it is it is it's tremendous but it taught me intestinal fortitude it taught me the ups and downs and and you know really does that's it was preparing all that little stuff there Was preparing me for you know a lot of time a lot of the stuff I went through in the 10 years where I worked in Baghdad and kobble and Kandahar mou or you know I worked in Yemen I fought Pirates off the coast Somalia I got to do a lot of cool stuff but then you know also in Libya we had a lot of ups and downs so yeah I said the the Lord works in mysterious ways you I am a Christian I'm not going to get into it with I think people need to find their own pass whatever but I I do think a lot of that was preparing me so when that night happened I was like well you know I know the roller coaster R let's just keep pushing through it and we we'll get through it and we're going to win this fight whatever it is Universe stuff man you know it's it's it's bigger than us and it knows what it's doing and um yeah yes sir well man look so obviously C CIA security contractor then so kind of just walk me through like what that kind of involved and just kind of tell me how you ended up winding up in benari because you know when we look at the movie you're already there so like how do you kind of how did that come about if you will well if when start from the ground floor and and like I said we should we probably G have to go longer than 40 minutes because I I talked my ass off here um but but um you you do when when at least in the beginning when where Contracting was going you couldn't just apply for jobs it was a recommendation or you know there wasn't like hey go on the CI website there's the SEC which now you can now there's actually websites and contract think where they you can you can do a job search and it's going to pop up but it was I done two years in Iraq for the state dep department and I'd done quite well under their High threat Protection Program which was the Brer program and then after that and the CI was doing some programs and they started to hand cherry pick guys and uh one of my program managers from Blackwater who was a former Dev group guy still Team Six guy he says hey do you want to go try out for this CIA program and I'm like well yeah what does it entail and he said well it's really tough only about 25% make it and I I know I know you're the same way being an athlete you're like hell yeah it's a challenge okay let's go do it and yeah after that time going through a lot being a ranger and all that you know going through the vetting processes of of of even when I was a 19 Special Forces Group yeah it's like okay Tri a try it's GNA suck so what it can't suck as worse as Ranger school it can't suck as worse than Ranger indoctrination Ranger or now it's called rasp but Ranger IND it can't suck worse than that but if I don't know and I don't try then I'm not going to succeed regardless so I went I did it it was tough it was a it was a three-week course of vetting a vetting course to become a GRS operator which is what I was in Benghazi and this was 2006 2005 2006 and uh and passed it lot of shooting it was it was a humbling experience because 50% of our class made it and you got to remember this everybody there was either Delta seal uh combat controller per rescue Ranger Mar I mean these are guys that know how to shoot that have been in the military and actually some of them you know I've already been down range for a couple years so it was intense but man it was fun and you know this is the thing I told you about Mo and Mick before we came on the show about all you guys from the SAS MI6 MI5 two of our instructors were MI6 and MI5 guys that we you know C and Mii they collaborated and yeah they were named Mo and Mick great guys great great just the most even killed dude dudes I love those guys but the process was very difficult they were both former SAS and and then SBS small small boat small and then special Boat Service Special Air tax Air Service tax guys SAS and SP SPS and they were they really put us through the grinder but once you get through that then you start going out on these little clandestine small group protection Ops which is what GRS is but it's more than that it's you know it's picking up weapon systems it's it's doing reconnaissance small team reconnaissance which is really cool it's living on the economy so all these places we go you know there are some where we live maybe in a clandestine base but we're not living on an army base or anything like that or we're living in a house in the city so what was so awesome is that you got to live on the economy so if I'm in Cobo if I'm in Kandahar even mosul or Benghazi or when I was in son Yemen you know I'm going out and having coffee in I mean you really are on your own I'm not gonna say it's James Bond type stuff because there's no James Bond type stuff that's like James Bond in the movies but it it's fun because you really are you're on your own I mean I got to go get something to eat I'm going down to the local local habab you know local Kebab shop to get some food I'm gonna go get the mystery meat I get coffee and granted that was good the coffee every in all these countries was magnificent but it really was eye opening to the fact not just the missions the missions were fun the missions were fantastic they were they were very high threat but very high they're very dangerous but I got to know the people and that was what was cool that was what I thought was so neat is that I wasn't living on an army base and had to go on Ops in a uniform I just dress like a local and I go out and and and I go to the bazars I go to markets and and that's what I loved about the job and you could get the atmospherics what was going around in the city which is in Benghazi which is kind of what you know the movie we tried to get that it's hard to do but you saw us when we went out and did that little dinner and restaurant meet in the beginning of 13 hours you know that was still an OP but we did that a lot on our own we just go out and try to pick up up surveillance so we could do counter surveillance it was just it was just it was just fun and exciting because there was only usually two of you maybe four of you at the most and sometimes you're all by yourself and you know to me that was what was fun is that man if if stuff hit the fan if the [ __ ] hit the fan you're hey that's it it's just you guys and you know I think the movie actually did a good job showing that because when the [ __ ] did have the hit the fan now we didn't think we'd be left behind but when the [ __ ] did hit the fan it was it was just us and and hey we roll with it that's just how it goes and and I think we did an excellent job and they did a great job showing that in 13 hours but uh that's just a taste I mean that really that is just a small taste of what the job actually is and that's why it was so exciting and fun and I do I miss it I I really do miss wow man that's a hell of a story and you know think thinking about um thinking about like life and stuff and kind of you know achieving and just if there was ever like a sign that you've done something seriously cool I think it would probably be having a movie directed by Michael Bay about it like I think that's probably the sort of like sign that you are a bit of a badass right so I I don't know if I'm bad but it is actually it is actually really cool now to think about it now yeah that is that's and that what I but in more things Lally than any what what what I love about it more than anything is that BB and ran and ambo Chris and Sean they will forever be immortalized no matter what our Us Media wants to do to try to wash that away it will never go away and he did such a great job and the actors did such a fantastic job portraying us and the great guys in themselves actually I'm still friends with with Pablo I'm still friends with if I see JN I I can say hi I say we're buddies or anything they're in a different whole different world than me but it it will forever be immortalized and no matter who tries to sweep it away or sweep it on the carpet it's never going to go away and that's that that's awesome and I appreciate you saying that because because you're right you're right it is it is freaking cool to be in a be portrayed in a Michael Bay movie by Pablo shriber who did an excellent excellent job uh with portraying me and actually him and I are still friends we got to know each other very very well and uh and I still consider him a friend he still considers me a friend and um but as if you ever meet me in person brother you come in the Midwest and shoot with me you'll see he is a hell of a lot bigger than me he's huge I am a little short 59 175 pound dude that's it he's like my monster so so that's I don't look like that in real life just just so everybody just full disclosure here I I don't look like that huge dude that's on the movie oh my god dude that would be insane I mean like if we could go shoot and you know see that guy too that would be just insane but look man so you gotta guide me through this then because you know you're not just like your average dude you're you're a full character of a person and you know it must be difficult to kind of get get that accurate from an actor or something you know everything from the no to you know to to all of the US stuff the dancing with the flashlights I love it was that accurate yeah yeah actually I danced a lot I I bu LFO I if you can if hope what I was trying to get Pablo to capture and we we did no we we he got to know let me start on the movie Far first I have a lot more respect for actors now after that movie than before I did for because they really did put their heart and soul into trying to get our P not just the acting right not just the shooting and the movements which looks they did a great job going through all the Tactical movements just the personalties is correct they put a lot of time and effort into just getting to know us at least Pablo did with me um and no so no the the dancing with the flashlights the LFO stuff which I used to listen to I used to listen to Ricky Martin as well I I did everything I could to parody the badass the badass badass I guess the personalities that you the alpha male the tough I I always was the opposite of that because there were too many there were too many of of those Meatheads out there knuckle draggers out there and I I I couldn't stand that and you I just want you didn't have to be a knuckle dragger to be able to get in the fight and kick some butt you could still be a joker you could still dance with flashlights and you could still go to put labomba on the radio and drive down the street if you wanted to and I used do that in Cabo all the time time too put on Ricky Martin and all these cbble people and not much for clandestine being clandestine but it it was it was those those little things that that I think a lot of the other movies didn't capture that you did in ours and it was just the just the various personalities and the joking around and and the wearing the shorts yeah I still got those shorts of course I that was a movie I had that's what I was wearing I mean big deal it's shortsighted the only thing we couldn't put in the movie which I wish we would have is is I had a a Mickey Mouse shirt on on they just Disney wouldn't let us put the movie and that's why you watch the movie again the closest thing you we could find was a panda shirt so that's why Pablo's wearing that panda shirt but yes the uh the the movie was extremely accurate and the actors took their time to get all those little mannerisms down the the the smartass comments that I always I I still have those yes that's spot on the the hey talking to the cik when I came back and I you know and and little Lal which his real name's Henry little Lal um you know he gives the gun back and I got to go get my pistol back from him because we're back at the annex and the GU and I remember the guy he's like hey what's going on I was like no I did say can I can I cuss I don't Lou can you beep this out in the movie in the movie you know Pablo says yeah come on check it out come on up I'll tell you all about it and that's what I I like yeah [ __ ] come on up I'll tell you all about it you know being a smart ass to these Jason bornes that were all over the place at that time that's something I was hoping pabl was to do I I know it may feel wrong because you're you're may feel like you're bad Mountain CIA people but do it because that's what I did and he did and just just the being being condescending being an arrogant ass but I said once the fight was going on I was in the fight and none of these guys could say otherwise just and I said the rest of the team was in the fight too we had a great team I mean so it wasn't just me believe I I wouldn't be talking today if I didn't have Tyrone and Oz and Tig and Boon and everybody else around me but I I think they really captured all that and even the down time where were just those LOLs that you just it's like a boxing bu it's like a tennis match and put that you know you're playing your ass off and then you said you got that break between sets and you're like oh man that's how it was and talking about family and remembering you know the what's the last thing I said to my wife and kids while I'm sitting up on that launch here um eating a Snickers bar you know and that's another thing in the movie I'm glad they got right they got the Snickers bars they got the lawn chairs they got the water they got us kicking back and be like we're talking or let's take a break okay let's talk and kind of re-evaluate what's going on and and Jack's talking to Tyrone going man had you know down times the worst you know this is this is when you think about your family and that so spoton because that's what we all we doing and and so so no the the the actors tremendous job uh I can't say thank you enough Michael Bay did a tremendous job we were on set for a lot of it it was filmed in Malta and Morocco so we got to be a part of that which was honestly an awesome experience in itself as well just being on a a Paramount Michael Bay movie set but then just watching the movie come out and still to this day I I I cry every time I watch it even more so now because I can just see how much effort they put into it to get it correct and I I still feel those emotions when I'm watching the movie that I was that that night that maybe I was trying to forget but that I'll never forget because they'll you know they'll always be etched in my brain always they're s they're seared in there man everything I saw everything I smelled and everything I heard man it's um you know movies and and Film Production it's it's another art form and I think that movie from what you've described truly is a work of art to be able to capture that so because you know it's a piece of history when you think about it we've always written things in books and we've never really had like things so accurate but in this case you know when you can capture something that accurately it's really important for our history man and and it's it's a great movie as well I have to say it but you know third question man um let's kind of two-part this then so the movie portrays it really well but when you were there when you were doing that were you just how hard was that mentally man like were you just in the fight were you just in the moment kind of just thinking about just what's in front of you or was it insanely difficult and the other part of that question I want to put forward as well is when you were making the movie was that very difficult for you to bring up the details and the memories and everything of that time because it was a very traumatic and extreme event or was were you able to kind of leave the past to the past with it yes those are actually two great questions the first part um if it would have been earlier in my career I think it would have been harder uh you know I think there may have been doubts that crept in because there are always those opportunities for doubts like are we going to get out of here um I don't think it was a coincidence that all of us there that were there that night were all senior guys that had all been down range many many times had all served with our various branches for many years um because we all were it's it's like and and I'm using you know I'm using this comparison because because of your game but it's like a tennis game that just keeps going I mean you don't is this going to end it's just we're just going to keep going till it's done and that was the mindset of everybody it was just it was now they're going to keep coming we'll keep killing them till they until they stop or until we finally find a way out of here um I I think really the where where we got over the hump where it was okay this is it we're just gonna have to keep fighting and it doesn't matter if we run out of ammo and I'm have to start pull and we're gonna have to go hand in hand with knives it's just how it's going to go um it was around three o'clock when we realized after multiple calls to various units in the area that were supposed to come help us whether it was The 555th Fighter Wing which is f f-16s out aano and suda Bay um whether it was the The Fast Company marines that were in sigonella there was one floating in the Mediterranean as well there was the 10 Special Forces Group which is the commanders and the extremist Force which was which was got got repositioned down to sigonella from Spain you had Delta FL lineing in uh trying to get over to us from the United States when we realized that that was so far behind and then those that were coming we told to stop that's I think is when we're like What can you do you know [ __ ] you know [ __ ] it you let's just keep fighting um so no I I I there was there was one time around 5:00 am before the mortars hit where a sun you know Sun's going to come up soon or I'm like well crap if they get over these walls it's it's it's hand to hand and that that's a different mindset I not not saying that shooting but shooting is is a little bit impersonal I mean you're killing somebody yes and but knifing some and getting up and close that's a different mindset even I know it may sound hard and people I what a you're a I'm not a warmonger guys I don't want to kill anybody I I didn't ask to do this I I didn't ask for them to come and attack us but it is a different mindset and you do have to change your mindset a little bit especially when there's a law when now when you're in the fight and it's just going on you just react you just do it it's you do your habit form your movement you do what you're trained the the the the the uh the you know the the words of people say you just you just go into your your instinct I don't believe in instincts because instinct tells me your brain's not thinking your brain's always think and your muscles don't think your brain thinks but you go into these habitual movements and you just do it I think the hardest part is when we those LOLs in between when you actually have a chance to think and and you don't want you don't want to go down those those those demon dark holes of what could happen so what I would do is I like okay what if they do do this what is my reaction if they jump over this wall what do I need to do I call it War gaming some guys call it whing in their head if they hit us with this what am I going to do there and the only way you can keep your mind occupied with that is the amount of training and also the experience because either you've gone through before in training you've gone through that that episode in training of either an ambush or mortar attack or rocket attack or they're jumping over the walls or they're hitting you with a PKM or or you've gone through it before and again that's why I said the the seniority of the group all of us had either been through something similar for real or been through it many times in training so it wasn't hard to pull ourselves away from that we're not going to make it out of here it was okay what do I do if this happens happens and I honestly I think that's the way people should go in life in anything it's like hey don't think of the worst thing can happen think of what could happen yeah it might be bad but how do I get out of it or how do I win the fight how do I win every little fight how do I win every little Point how it's you Athletics I think Athletics and honestly Special Operations especially on the pro level they they coincide pretty close to how do you win this game well it's the same thing it's just the ultimate game your your your life's in the line but how do I win this fight and I got to win every freaking point and it go on forever but you continue to fight until you win you you know you never stop fighting yeah so that and I had a team of guys that felt the same way we never let that negativity creep in if some guy did I never knew about it it was okay what do we do next okay those [ __ ] are coming at us again what are we gonna do here all right well I'm gonna shoot this way you shoot that way a grenade comes over I got you covered you go get if tick goes down you go triage him I'll continue to cover it's just was yeah it was beautiful dude it was like a mo it was like an it was like MO it was like an orchestra just playing so and that was that I get chills talking about it because I've been on a lot of teams but only one other time in Kandahar was it ever on a team where it just felt like it didn't matter what we did we all knew what we were going to do and we're gonna get out of it yeah um but the second part of your question on the movie well so so anyway no I never felt the negativity like [ __ ] we're gonna lose it was no we're gonna get out of here we'll figure it out I don't care if we fight till till till next month we're going to figure out a way on your other on the movie the movie at first was not hard because it was cool being it was something new I'd never been on a movie set I'd never been in Malta either even though malta's right across from Libya that little I I never been there and i' never been around you know like like I said Michael Bay Paramount huge movie set so that was cool initially because it was a new experience but as it went and we you know Mike Michael would turn to US during a scene and he hey Tano what that look like did Pablo do that right hey Oz did did Max do that right it did start to bring back memories especially when they were doing the scene where we got hit at the consulate it was really the first Counterattack and an RPG came in and knocked me on my ass to the wall um now Pablo he turned around was shooting our mark my Mark 46 and he had his hand in the wrong position so I told Mike I said Michael hey M Mr Bay I'm still very respectful military I me he goes no just but I said hey Pablo's hand was in the wrong position when he hit that charging handle it was Palm was down his palm needs to be up or I told him I said you're gonna lose every Ranger in the audience because that's not right tactically so they made him refilm it which is a kudos to Michael it was it was awesome that they refilmed the whole attack scene because Pablo's hand was in the wrong spot on that Mark 46 but when it was over yeah I I I I had some issues um I walked off to the side I got some coffee and it it it bothered it you know honestly Look at me now it's kind of how I was I was just this is how when I when I start to get a little agitated or I start to remember you know I'll grab my hand and all I I even know what I do now because I'm a public speaker so I have to relive it a lot but uh I do this and and then um when they showed the first what we call a Sizzle reel which is like a trailer for for the studio and they did a lot of the filming we'd been there for two weeks in Malta they'd already done their stuff in Morocco that they needed uh they showed the sizzle reel which is like I said it's a trailer for the before the studio um I remember I broke down yeah I got angry I broke down I threw my water bottle against one of the walls and I remember Michael Bay and Pablo turn to me and the rest of the actors all the other actors were all staying around and everybody's like because it was awesome it was a incredible tra I was like Wow but it reminded me so much of what happened and it reminded me of when the mortars hit azen I mean the mortars hit Oz and Ron and Bub because I was shooting over their heads when they hit um yeah they all thought I was pissed off because they thought the trailer was wrong and Pablo came up to me because I walked away I remember I turned and I walked away from everybody because I was starting to cry you can't cry in front of the you can't cry in front of the ladies man come on man that's it it ain't the woke society yet man I got I got me take my alha this um so I walked away um because I starting to C cry and Pa PA's such a great guy he really is he ran over and he put you know he's 6'3 250 dude he puts he's about 225 he puts his arms around ra he he goes uh he goes was that he goes what' we do wrong what did we do wrong I said no dude it was perfect I said it just it really hit me dude and uh so yeah the movie that's why I said I I I really honestly I get all that get that way with the movie a lot now um but that point and during the filming really hit me hard it did it did um but it was also and I remember I went up to Michael Bay after I said I apologize for walking away man you you did awesome you hit the nail on the head keep doing what you're doing um I just it just it just brought back a quick memory that really hit me hard which and I said and that just means that you're doing it right I remember saying that to him said you're doing it right so keep doing it so yeah but I I you know in in the movie still has that effect on me um more so at other times than more so sometimes than others but still every time I watch it I'll I'll either break down or at the very least I'll get choked up and and the tear duct will start coming at certain scenes in there because it it I'll just remember they did so well it will just bring back I'll bring the smells the sights everything yeah man I that's I really feel for you dude and you know I'd like to attack two points there actually and before we move on to the last question so you know when what you were saying about part one it's interesting but I think it's very easy for viewers and kind of non-military people to how do I put this I think it's very easy for them to just see the kind of how traumatic it is and how extreme it is but just from their own perspective the truth is actually I think people can almost underestimate slightly just how well trained you guys are like in the US military it's incredible how how well trained you guys are for so many years to deal with these things then you can actually you are trained to handle this situation it's like you know I'm an aviator at Harman and I love the fighter jet stuff and you know I follow it all very closely and I listen to the air-to-air engagement often and I've found from listening to some of them that actually when they're in the dog fights and stuff they're very calm they are very calm and the noise over the radios is very very calm when there is noise and when they're talking and stuff that's when something's gone really wrong but actually these guys they are fessed up they know what's going to happen if it happens they're they're 15 steps ahead of the problems happening they know what they're going to do if this happens and they know what's going to happen if that happens that doesn't you know the these guys are that's it spot on butd it it is it's it's it's the war gaming it's and that's Pilots to me Pilots Are Special Operations guys too as far as I'm concerned believe me any person that's on the ground we want to hear a pilot come we want to hear they're coming all right the angels are coming but you're so spot on and and you know speaking of that and as far as the calmness I equate it to everything slows down I remember that I remember when all that took place and sorry about that bud no worries man that's my wife that's my wife she's got the I love me sex me I love me sexy ring ringtone when she text me from from Tropic from Tropic Thunder greatest one of the greatest I mean not Tropic Thunder um Semi-Pro with Will right but anyway the um you know what happens is is it it does it's when you're under duress and you've got the experience you've got the age you've got the training that all of us have the world slows down and honestly it the world opens up I I equate it to like being a racehorse and you have the blinders on and when combat or something traumatic where your underdress starts those blinders come off and I think that's why it is hard for a lot of us to come back and just be normal because we want those blinders to come off all the time because the world just is so much brighter and clearer and you being a pilot you and first of the fighter pilots that's exactly what they're saying that everything opens up everything kind of slows down but it does take a special not a special person just a person that's had a lot of special training and been through a lot of of of traumatic experiences or have been under duress a lot and been able to handle them but when we have the quiet time is when it's the hardest that's the hardest for me is when it's when it's just quiet even though I want it now because I'm 52 and I love I love I love the piece there are times the demons will creep in so I when it when it is quiet but I I I've I've figured out how to handle it at least I think I have so far I've done it so far we'll see for the another 10 years if I'm able to hand yeah man um well I tell you what do I mean this leads really well into my fourth question um so it's a it's a big one and I'm I'm really looking forward seeing what you say about this man so you know in life [ __ ] happens right you know bad things happen it's just the degree of it that changes and um one thing a great man and um a truly amazing soul of a human being who I got to speaks on the podcast Tyler Gray he's in Seal Team at the moment he's a veteran you know he he's an a class person and you know he kind of went along the line of saying you know that these bad things that happen when you look back at them actually they sometimes are good things and that they actually sometimes lead to the current growth unless it leads to death obviously that's an exception but yeah you know they can lead to just leveling up as human beings and these experiences sometimes are so so profound so my last question man is in that night of trauma pain fighting and uncertainty is there a silver lining to it dude uh you know what are some of the biggest take-homes and lessons that you left Benghazi with and if there was a way that the movie or the book or just the story could deliver a lesson or a message to the Watchers and readers what would you want them to take away for it that could be life life impacting well Tyler's a smart dude and you know he's he's he's spot on really spot on no uh adversity you know I think that's one thing that that special operators learn to handle it's adversity how to handle failure we there's not one of us especially that have been in the Special Operations community that has not failed that's what we do we fail all all the time we but we always pick ourselves up and we always work harder and we learn from those failures so we don't replicate them at least we try to try to learn from we do most of the time um Benghazi in itself and and I I've told told a lot of people this I said I do a lot of public speaking and I talk about on my on my podcast I have a I have a podcast that that's all it's about is about overcoming adversity it's called battle line podcast and I know I'm doing a Shameless plug there but but what I've learned is that Benghazi is a silver lining in itself because it is dealing with adversity it's overcoming and we talked about in the beginning that roller coaster r that prep me for Benghazi because Benghazi was a roller coaster ride every time that we were faced with an obstacle that could have stopped us or literally killed us like nope this isn't going to stop us we're going to figure out a way over it or through it or around it we just kept moving forward um and we got through that night yes we lost four PE it's War I mean I I I wish we always like the bat a thousand but it's it's War it doesn't always happen that way but we still saved over two dozen lives you know 20 I want to say it's 26 to be exact and um so we did succeed and we found a way out there even though we didn't get much help from our own US Government which to me that's unheard of you know finding a way to get all those people out of there now we not just us we all were a team even even the some of the C people really did a great job getting us help out of there but we didn't quit we didn't stop fighting we didn't give up uh and Benghazi is it's it's if I can sum up Benghazi in in one word I would say adversity well a lot of adverse things happened that night did we stop no we kept fighting we got over them we got through them and we can do that in anything in life as long as we just control our attitudes you know that's one thing we have control of in our life it's our own attitudes okay are we going to give up or we going to continue to fight on no let's continue to fight let's continue to give us options so that's where we do the war gaming okay what do we need to do let's figure these things out let's keep trying different things to try to succeed and get our way out of here and then once it does happen you can look back and you're successful which I do think Benghazi is successful on my from from my perspective I can look back and like oh my gosh man we fought through all that now if I face something down the line in my life I can get through that as well yeah it's hard to hard to be that isn't it it is and that's that's you can learn from every traumatic experience you get through it if you're faced with that trauma again you've already conquered it so I have conquered it I can do it again and and you know Louis I've talked about this before um but I have I I it did bring me down to some some Dark Places I had three years of my life after been Gody when the movie came out that I was a mess you know I was drinking I was divorced from my my wife you know I was stand out there talk to relationship with every girl I could find miserable and I I did I I did put a gun in my mouth twice actually TR I thought about once killing us I did then two other times I almost did it but what saved me it was Bazi it was I mean my kids of course my my my wife which I reconcile with but it was really looking and going okay you went through hell on Earth you fought like hell to get back in the military doing everything again you did all that 10 Years Part then Benghazi happened and you didn't give up then and now you're going to give up on yourself so even in my own life Benghazi is an example of hey you just don't quit no matter how low you get you can get through it because you don't give up and and and and I didn't give up and I didn't give up on myself where I should have where I could have you know three years after Benghazi the the greatest fight of my of all not just Benghazi a fight for my soul I didn't give up and Benghazi helped me get through that so again I am believer in God I am you don't have to believe in God but I don't think God put me through that with the other guys put us through that for no reason um I honestly for the 10 years that I did before Benghazi I probably would have went down that slippery slope regardless Benghazi maybe have expedited it but if I didn't get a chance to go through Benghazi on that night I don't think I would have pulled myself out of those demon holes that I was in and I probably would I you know hindsight's 2020 who knows but I probably would have did the ultimate and and and pulled the trigger when that Glock was in my mouth and because of being gazy I Put the gun down reconciled my wife and here I back am remarried with her and we got three wonderful children and here I'm talking to you and life is gravy I mean it is it really is gravy so I think anything that you go that's bad in life that you feel like man this obstacle I'm going through get through it because once you get through it it just makes you stronger and if you're faced with another piece of adversity or obstacle again you can overcome you're going to be overcome it because you already did it before so that's that's that's the lesson that I hope people take from Benghazi not the politics or anything just that you can overcome anything that you want to As Long As said you want to overcome it that's that's to me that's it in a nutshell oh my god dude I tell you what if this if this mic right here wasn't fixed on I would just like mic drop right now because that was just delivered perfectly but dude I look I just want to say man um I find I find it to be one of the most most ironically incredible things what you've just said because it's amazing when you look at it for example you look at Benghazi and you see just how bad that was just how traumatic it was the lives lost and just that experience it's such a negative thing but to be able to turn that around into something to turn that negative into something so inspiring to so many people is like laughing in adversity's face you know my best friend right now she has cancer and she is a she's a personal trainer and she just inspires the hell out of everyone like you would never know she was going through that but she just is an absolute inspiration to all of her clients and it just it's incredible how you can have something that's so horrible and so negative and if you can just flip that on itself and actually say no [ __ ] you you are not going to do this I'm gonna turn you into a positive is that not just is that not just incredible to be able to do that it's for those those are the kind of people that honestly inspire me I I've been very blessed I've been able to get my my Crohn's disease under control so I you know I I understand health issues and and where it can just drag your drag you down and especially you know i' had a lot of friends with cancer as well and and and for them every one of them is been screw this then if I got this I'm not gonna let it beat I'm G live you they I'm gonna live like there's no tomorrow which is spot on what they do but that's inspirational it's like why am I complaining about these little OES or that I got to get up early or that maybe I get stuck in traffic for an hour holy [ __ ] this person is fighting a dehab disease and they're kicking its ass and so that's well that's why also to me Benghazi was like let's turn this into positive why it doesn't stop letting the politicians make it negative start feeding into those manipulation and and make it into a into a negative because it's not it's heroism I gotta witness heroism firsthand I gotta see Ty Tyrone was incredible I mean the man he was our medic he was a fighter he was our leader he was running around fighting and then he come tape everybody up and then he'd make sure we were all you know everybody's radio everybody's on point on on our communication and and bub who got a plane to us when nobody else would come to us then he was the only one that came up to the roof to help us support us that night when all the rest of the guys that came in including the two Delta guys went into the building to me it's like holy gosh you know I they don't want me to get into polit why am I talking about politics with this B guy let's talk about those two let's talk about what they did because they inspire me to get up every day and live the best life I can be and and I know but we're going long and I'm sorry but but uh but Benghazi was one of the greatest nights of my life and Benghazi is not about politics it's about heroism it's about over again adversity overcoming adversity it's about leadership it's about courage and it should inspire people to live their best life because you just you don't know when it's going to end so get out your ass up in the morning and go kick the day's ass every day that's what you want to do because that's what that's what Tyrone and bu would be doing right now and that's what I try to do even though I'm getting old and I have my days need a nap every once a while but that other than that I try to kick the day's ass as much as I can man H I got nothing more to add to that that's perfect that's just a great way to to round that off dude you know than just great stuff great stuff man um look Shameless plug i' I've I've honestly that is just the cherry on the icing for this podcast that was a great end I love it man just Shameless plug away Pages book website everything where can we find more of you dude you know I I have my own podcast called battle line podcast which is we talked to we talked actually to a lot of rock rock singers uh but uh but we also a lot of military veterans um so I love it it it we try to get away from the dam dram the the drama that we have here in the United States we don't get into it unless the guest wants to get into it but it it is it's it's it's stories of heroism that we try to get on I got Chris Dutch Moyer former Delta operator that's on after we get off this I'm going to have him on the show um tremendous guy itself a tremendous operator in his own right but have the podcast I have my training company battle line tactical but you got to come down and train with us buddy if you ever get in Kansas you come and train man we go shoot and then you Pages christano Pano you search it and it pops up but buddy I'm not a merchandise guy I have books I have merchandise hey it's there because people ask for it but may money's tight here especially in America spend your money wisely spend it on room and board and food and on yourself not on my gear unless you got a little bit but actually oh man I love it and yeah all I can say dude is see you at the range last little question man uh can I get an authentic and original Shaker yeah and that did happen that was what I did man dude it was yeah I I didn't have nowhere else to contact those dudes and that's the only way I could do it I I still remember that dude chewing cot I swear he had four teeth and I went like this to him with that 50 cal that diska pointed at my forehead and when they smiled at me but it was the most beautiful smile I had ever seen in my life that toothless caught Phil poop grin so man Shaka Jambo if you if you're in Swahili man it's the Swahili Jambo that's what it was right there rate mine from one to 10 dude that outstanding Bud yeah man I love it oh dude Chris honestly man just an absolute pleasure and a true honor having you on the show today man just all I can say is thank you and I just can't wait for people to listen to this man thanks Lou I appreciate it and and you got my email I my cell I'll get you my cell on there um I I love promoting it out you just tell me what you want me to do or if you don't want me to I don't have to either I I I just I want to help you out as best I can so you just tell me what what you want me to do with it with uh when you have the link or how does it work does it come out now or what you want me to do um it's so it'll come out in yeah a like next couple of days or something man and uh and we'll we'll shove it out to everyone who fancies having a listen because this is truly one of the best podcasts I think I've ever recorded on the show and wow you know I I just this has been incredible and people people need to hear this it's it's it's big stuff man it really is thanks buddy I appreciate it you holler me and anything else or if you ever in need of a guest I'm I'm here for you bud ever again so thanks man again it's open you come to Kansas we'll go shoot let's do it man it's on and well guys all I can just say is I hope you enjoyed that it it was just fantastic episode 86 we're rocketing through to 100 episodes I'm loving it we've got insane guests lined up you know it's wild at the moment and um guys you know great past episodes 2 go and check them out there's loads of them I can recommend a few they will be in the description um but yeah guys just do me the favor just leave a like subscribe there's more stuff coming it's going to be epic and um I can't wait to see you guys back for the next episode so guys fights on and see you next time

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published

Featured products

Talk4 Podcast Unisex T-Shirt (SMALL LOGO) - LouisSkupienTalk4 Podcast Unisex T-Shirt (SMALL LOGO) - LouisSkupien
Sale price$32.00
Talk4 Podcast Unisex T-Shirt (SMALL LOGO)
+5
+4
+3
+2
+1
Reviews
Talk4 Podcast Mug - LouisSkupienTalk4 Podcast Mug - LouisSkupien
Sale price$19.00
Talk4 Podcast Mug
+6
+5
+4
+3
+2
+1
Reviews