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By Staff | Sep 16, 2016

As farmers, feeding the world is one of the noblest causes a person can do, so for our customer appreciation event, Commstock Investments has called upon someone that we can all look up to with the highest respect and admiration – “Tanto” is coming to our Clay County Fair event.

On Sept. 11, 2012 terrorists attacked the U.S. State Department compound and a nearby CIA station called the Annex in Benghazi, Libya. The battle, lasting 13 hours, resulted in the deaths of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, but 32 other Americans at the Annex saved and later transported to the airport for evacuation.

Six CIA contract operators, including Kris “Tanto” Paronto, were credited with rescuing state department personnel from the diplomatic compound and defending the CIA Annex during repeated furious gun-battles depicted in the book and subsequent movie “13 Hours in Benghazi.”

Kris displayed extraordinary tenacity and heroism and describes himself as a Benghazi survivor. Many other Americans survived the harrowing experience because of “Tanto.”

Mr. Paronto 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 four years in the U.S. Army and an additional four years in the U.S. 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, to include the Global Response Staff until 2013.

Paronto has been involved in security operations in hostile environments for more than 10 years. His team’s involvement with the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. special mission in Benghazi, was paramount in saving U.S. lives and assets.

He is a proven leader, teammate and friend to those who have deployed with him, and a devout father to three children.

Kris is now engaged on the speaking circuit as a motivational speaker. Commstock Investments and supporting sponsors are extremely excited to announce that Paronto will be attending the Clay County Fair Saturday, speaking for a private customer appreciation crowd at the Events Center that afternoon at 2 p.m., with a book signing following the event that will be open to the public.

While CommStock Investments is underwriting and providing the major sponsorship for Paronto’s speaking engagement at the Events Center at the Clay County Fair in Spencer, there are 15 regional co-sponsors for this private event which is a customer appreciation function for all the sponsors.

These are Acre Co., First National Bank of Minnesota, New Fashion Pork, Farm Credit Services, Little Sioux Corn Processors, George and Janet Moriarty, Greenleaf Agronomy, Northwest Ag Supply, Southern Archery, Blue Grass Brass, Agrivantage Crop insurance, Royalty Insurance, Pro-Crop Farm Management and AgriPlus Managed Bushels.

We are honored to have an American hero attend this year’s fair as a speaker for our event. Paronto gave 13 hours of very special service to the country in Benghazi.

His actions defending American lives that were in harm’s way as portrayed in the book and movie “13 hours at Benghazi” was heroic.

It’s warriors like him that help keep all Americans safe and we commend him for his service. We thank him from all of us. We are excited to host his visit to the Clay County Fair for our customer appreciation event.

David Kruse is president of CommStock Investments Inc., author and producer of The CommStock Report, an ag commentary and market analysis available daily by radio and by subscription on DTN/FarmDayta and the Internet.

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