The "secret soldiers" of Benghazi, Libya said God was with them, protecting them "like there was a cocoon around you," when they bravely fought off a large group of armed Islamic radicals who attacked a CIA outpost on Sept. 11, 2012.
The three CIA contractors spoke during a recent press conference for the just-released movie "13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi," a movie based on the true story of six CIA contractors who miraculously survived a massive attack by well-armed jihadists on the U.S. State Department's Mission Control Compound.
The three—Mark "Oz" Geist, John "Tig" Tiegen and Kris "Tanto" Paranto—said they owe their lives to no one else but God, the Gospel Herald reported.
Tanto is one of the six CIA contractors who defied orders to stand down and rushed to defend the American officials inside the besieged U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi.
"That night when I was shooting, the scene where we got attacked at the consulate. I was out in the open. I'm shooting back, and they're 'snap snap' going. Ain't nothing touching me. I could feel it," Tanto told the Christian Post. "You could just feel a warm force-field. It's really a cocoon around you, like 'I'm good. Nobody's going to hit me.'"
The attack killed two of the contractors, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, and injured Paranto and Geist.
Tanto said they believe God placed them in that part of the world for a reason.
"We were all supposed to go home the week prior," Tanto said. "But, [then we] wouldn't have had that team there that we had that night."
Geist said he also believes God protected them that night, and that God is the reason they made it out to share the story with others.
"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," he 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."
Tanto thanked director Michael Bay for allowing the mention of God, although very briefly, in the movie. "With Michael [Bay] getting portions of that in the movie where [actor Pablo Schriebe, who plays him] is saying: 'As long as I'm going right with God, He'll take care of me.' I said that," he said.
"Him [Bay] putting it into a movie this size, even that little bit that makes me really happy. I've had so many people come to me and say, 'Thank you for putting God in the movie.' Even that little bit, even that one word."
"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.
The Christian warrior said he hopes that whoever reads the book or sees the movie would be inspired to know that God will always be there to help people 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," Tanto said.