Kris “Tanto” Paronto, one of the survivors and heroes of the 2012 terror attacks on U.S. government facilities in Benghazi, has launched a new foundation aimed at honoring and supporting those who have served and sacrificed to protect the American Homeland and their families during times of need. The 14th Hour Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance for “unexpected everyday life events that other government programs may not cover” not only to veterans, but also Law Enforcement Officers, First Responders, Government Contractors, and other brave men and women who have dedicated their lives to serving the American people.
“I started The 14th Hour Foundation because I couldn’t find an organization that was dedicated to helping all great Americans during their time of need,” Paronto told American Military News. “There are plenty of honorable foundations out there that offer assistance specifically to veterans, or work directly to help police officers, first responders, and other groups; but I felt compelled to create something that worked to honor all the heroes that protect our nation because at the end of the day we’re all in this fight together.”
Paronto is a former Army Ranger from 2nd Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment and private security contractor. He has been deployed throughout South America, Central America, the Middle East and North Africa. Paronto was serving as a CIA security contractor in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012 when the U.S. Embassy and CIA consulate were attacked by terrorists. The attack resulted in the death of four Americans: Paronto’s fellow CIA contractors Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty, U.S. Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith, and the U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens.
The book “13 Hours” written by Mitchell Zuckoff and the surviving CIA annex security team members, tells the story of the 13-hour fight put up by Paronto and his brave team against the Islamic terrorists who waged war against them. His new foundation looks to help other service members in their “14th hour” after returning home from their missions, a struggle Paronto knows the difficulty of first hand.
Donations to The 14th Hour Foundation will provide assistance in the form of Honor Grants for “unexpected everyday life events that other government programs may not cover.” Such needs may include rent, utility bills, and college tuition. The 14th Hour Foundation also partners with other veteran organizations to increase awareness of veteran-related issues.
Last year, Paronto started the Leading from the Front campaign, a project launched in an effort to push a conversation about the real threat of radical Islam.
You can learn more about The 14th Hour Foundation at 14Hours.org.