Men of '13 Hours: Secret Soldiers of Benghazi' Felt God's Protection in Midst of Battle

The U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is seen in flames during a protest by an armed group said to have been protesting a film being produced in the United States September 11, 2012. An American staff member of the U.S. consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi has died following fierce clashes at the compound, Libyan security sources said on Wednesday. Armed gunmen attacked the compound on Tuesday evening, clashing with Libyan security forces before the latter withdrew as they came under heavy fire. |
A FBI poster released on May 2, 2013 shows one of the three suspects who the agency is seeking information regarding the attack on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. The FBI on Thursday sought to advance its investigation into the September attacks on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, releasing photographs of three men who it said were at the compound at the time. |
The remains of Americans killed in Benghazi this week are taken off a transport aircraft during a return of remains ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, September 14, 2012. President Barack Obama arrived at Andrews Air Force Base on Friday to lead a ceremony honoring the return of the remains of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans killed in an attack in Libya this week. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and the other Americans died after gunmen attacked the lightly fortified U.S. consulate and a safe house refuge in Benghazi on Tuesday night. |
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Even though Tanto blew out his eardrum in the fight and Oz suffered a severe injury to his arm that required more than 12 surgeries, the latter also believes God is the only reason the three men are alive to tell their story. According to Oz, God's angels wrapped their wings around the soldier on the tragic night that moviegoers will witness for themselves.

"There were three 80 mm mortars and they have a kill radius of 21 feet. So that basically means anything within 21 feet has like a 99 percent chance of getting killed," Oz said. "I was within 15 feet of three of them and I lived. I know that His presence was there with me and it's what got me through."

The scenario is even hard to believe for other soldiers who traveled to the area where the six men held off dozens of attackers who were equipped with more advanced weaponry.

3 photos(Photo: Courtesy of Grace Hill Media)Former Army Ranger Kris "Tanto" Paranto was one of six security contractors who inspired the film "13 Hours" and book of the same name, following the fatal terror attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012.

"Some of the guys that went back down to Benghazi and took pictures to see the corner [we] were fighting out of, they looked at me in the face and asked: 'How are you still alive?'" Tig revealed. "There were bullet holes all over the thing, we had these huge spotlights and we're pretty much fighting right next to it and that thing was pretty much obliterated."

Oz added, "Everything [got] hit but where we were at."

It was not in the job description of the six security contractors to fight against the terrorists who attacked the U.S. compound in Benghazi. They were supposed to act as last result support, not front line defense.

Even though risking their lives resulted in the deaths of two of their friends and fellow contractors, Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, Tanto believes God chose that group to defend the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.

"I know God had us all there for a reason that night. We were all supposed to go home the week prior," Tanto revealed. "But wouldn't have had that team there that we had that night. Because of the age, seniority and experience, we actually worked well together. I think if that team wouldn't have been there as it was, there would have been a lot more casualties."

Although Tanto is sad that "Ty" and Glen lost their lives in the battle, he was happy they fought beside him.

"It's sad Ty had to give his life by doing that but I'm glad he was there and he's the hero. Him and Glen both," he said.

Bay's film doesn't contain many overt faith based themes, but it does feature a real life battle fought by Christian men who are not afraid to publicly glorify God once the credits stop rolling.

"We had so many times we could have quit and because of our faith in God and our faith in each other, we didn't," Tanto said, adding that Christian audiences will walk away from the film feeling inspired.

"So that's what I hope that people get, especially when I speak to faith based groups. Have faith in God that He will help you overcome any obstacle. Have faith that you're in a situation that whether it's good or bad, you're there for a reason and keep your faith in Him."

"13 Hours: Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi" can been see in theaters across the U.S. 

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