Witness of Benghazi attack to kick off Lyceum Lecture Series

tanto Kris “Tanto” Paronto will start Victoria College’s 2017-18 Lyceum Lecture Series on Oct. 2.

Kris “Tanto” Paronto, whose first-hand account of the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi is told in the book and movie “13 Hours,” will kick off Victoria College’s 2017-18 Lyceum Lecture Series on Monday, Oct. 2 at the Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts.

The event, supported in part by Redeemer Lutheran Church, will begin at 6 p.m. Doors will open at 5 p.m.

Due to limited seating, tickets are required for the event. There is a maximum of three tickets per person. Free tickets are available by calling (361) 570-TKTS (8587) or at the Welder Center Box Office, the Museum of the Coastal Bend at Victoria College, or online at A $1 convenience fee applies for tickets ordered online.

Paronto was part of the CIA Annex security team that responded to the terrorist attack on a U.S. State Department Special Mission Compound in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012 and helped save 20 lives while fighting off terrorists for over 13 hours. In his new book, “The Ranger Way,” Paronto uses his experiences in Basic and Ranger Training to explore how to deal with mistakes and disappointment like a leader, accept responsibility, and turn every obstacle into an opportunity for growth.

Paronto obtained his bachelor’s degree from Mesa State College and a master’s degree from The University of Nebraska at Omaha. He served four years in the U.S. Army and an additional four years in the U.S. Army National Guard, reaching the rank of sergeant.

Every fall, VC’s Lyceum Committee invites community members to suggest speakers for the next series. This year, Rev. Andrew Schroer proposed several speakers on behalf of Redeemer Lutheran Church’s outreach committee, and he was excited to learn one of the suggestions was selected by the Lyceum Committee.

“While I haven’t met Mr. Paronto personally, his family attends the church pastored by a friend of mine from the seminary,” said Pastor Schroer. “It’s through that connection that I became interested in Mr. Paronto’s story, and I believe many in our community will enjoy hearing his talk as well. Redeemer Lutheran is pleased to support the lecture.”

Community members will be invited to suggest Lyceum speakers for next year’s series beginning in October.

The Leo J. Welder Center is located at 214 N. Main Street in Victoria. For more information on the Lyceum Lecture Series, call (361) 573-3291.