(San Antonio, TX) – The Ecumenical Center for Education. Counseling. Health hosted a powerful presentation by U.S. veteran Kris “Tanto” Paronto on February 28, 2017 at The Center, 8310 Ewing Halsell Drive.
Paronto, a former Army Ranger and security contractor, was serving as a CIA paramilitary contractor at the U.S. State Department Mission compound in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012 when terrorists attacked. While four U.S. lives were lost, the heroic efforts by Paronto and his security team during the intense hours that ensued helped save the lives of more than 20 others. Their story is chronicled in the book and movie, 13 Hours.
Paronto’s presentation was part of a major announcement by The Ecumenical Center about its newly awarded $1.6 million state grant from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission which will allow The Ecumenical Center to provide much needed counseling services for active duty military, veterans and their families in San Antonio and South Texas. Services will be provided at The Ecumenical Center and at nine Texas Veterans and Family Care Counseling Care Counseling Centers located throughout San Antonio, as well as Fair Oaks Ranch, La Vernia, Schertz and Corpus Christi.
Counseling services to be provided include Post Traumatic Stress therapies such as EMDR, neurofeedback, play and art therapy, psychological testing and sessions utilizing the expressive therapeutic arts; visual arts, poetry and prose writing, therapeutic rhythms and music therapy for the veterans, families and caregivers.
Paronto shared details about the Benghazi attack and the many challenges he has had to face since that day. He says his mission in sharing his story is both to honor the Americans who lost their lives in the attacks, and to raise awareness about the realness of Post Traumatic Stress.
“My goal is to inspire people,” says Paronto. “If I can save anyone’s life who is living with Post Traumatic Stress, it’s worth it. My goal is to inspire others and tell them don’t let this get you down if you have Post Traumatic Stress. If I can do it, you can do it. You can beat it. You’ve got to the utilize strengths that you have and the support network that you have.”
The Center hosted Paronto as part of the organization’s ongoing effort to draw attention to the needs of veterans and the sacrifices they make.
More information is available here.