Former Army Ranger and Benghazi attack survivor Kris ‘Tanto’ Paronto’s The Patriot’s Creed is a guide to living a heroic life.
And it makes clear that such a life comes in all shapes and sizes, can be found at all socio-economic levels, and is valuable whether in a civilian existence or a life lived in uniform.
Paronto was a Ranger with the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. He served as a “private security contractor” in various nations around the world, including service fighting pirates on the high seas in and around Somalia. And he was there for the September 11, 2012, Benghazi attack.
He was part of the CIA Annex security team that fought for 13 hours he will never forget.
When terrorists attacked the Special Mission compound our team was initially told to stand down and to wait for local forces to arrive to handle the situation. But American lives were at risk, so out team acted against orders and fought all night, against tremendous odds, retaking the compound and defending attacks on the Annex.
Paronto knows what it takes to be ready when the battle ensues. He know what it means to win, something he became accustomed to in battle, but he also knows what it means to fail, both privately and in military life.
Looking at the totality of things, Paranto draws lessons for the reader. He observes, “We worry about all kinds of things that are not under our control, while neglecting the many things that we can control.” But he stresses that we are not relieved of duty simply because certain things fall outside our purview: “The specific circumstances you are facing might be out of your control, but the way you respond to those circumstance is 100 percent up to you.”
But the book is not a Paronto autobiography. Rather, it is an opportunity for him to highlight Army Values–Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage–and explain how those apply to everyday life.
He highlights those values by pointing to people who have exemplified them while under fire on a battlefield, while facing levels of personal adversity that most people cannot fathom, or both.
He names Pararescue Jumper Master Sgt. Joseph “Scott” Gearen, Rob Jaber, Ben Morgan (former Ranger), Sgt. Isreal Matos, USMC Ret. Army Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn C. “Al” Cashe, Dan Laguna (former Green Beret), Ryan Doltz (New Jersey National Guard KIA June 5, 2004, while deployed in Iraq), Tom Block (former Ranger), and others to show us the way and to remind us that victory is possible, even against all odds.
But it requires a determination to live up to the Army Values when people are watching and when they are not; whether you are in a crowd or all alone; whether you are in a bunker or an office building.
Ultimately, The Patriot’s Creed is about learning how to take responsibility for one’s self, one’s team, and one’s country. Such responsibility takes sacrifice, but the myriad examples listed by Paronto remind us that individuals in situations unimaginable for all their disadvantages have answered the call and won the fight.
Paronto reminds us, too, that overarching in his mind is the maxim spoken by Christ, “Greater love has no one that this; to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13 NIV)
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.