Benghazi Battle Vet Helps the Forgotten Soldiers
After recovery from severe wounds while defending lives at the Battle of Benghazi, former special operative contractor Mark “Oz” Geist, chose to serve his country in a different way by establishing the Shadow Warriors Project.
Geist, who also co-authored the book 13 Hours: The Inside Account Of What Really Happened In Benghazi which later became the premise of a movie, recently had the opportunity to talk about the project with Every Man Show radio hosts Kenny Luck and Anthony Dever.
Leading into Memorial Day Weekend
Geist, whose interview on the show airs in three parts this week beginning Wednesday (May 24, 2017) on KKLA 99.5 FM in Los Angeles, said the project is his “way of continuing service” to Americans.
“Ninety percent of us in the military are there because it’s our sense of service, and that service can continue,” said Geist, who also served in the Marine Corp for 12 years. Private security contractors, unlike military personnel, do not have a workman’s comp policy. “The day I left Benghazi, which was the morning of the 12th, my pay stops. It’s not like in the service where if I get injured I still get paid, get benefits and all that. I get nothing.”
He explained that there are 270 U.S. diplomatic facilities around the world. “There’s contractors at every one of them,” he said. “Since 2001, we’ve lost almost 5,000 contractors killed and almost 30,000 injured. That’s a lot of people who have sacrificed for this country and they need to be taken care of.”
[ictt-tweet-blockquote hashtags=”ShadowWarriorsProject” via=””]5,000 private military security contractors killed & 30,00 injured since 2001[/ictt-tweet-blockquote]
Shadow Warriors Project founders, Geist and his wife, Krystal, said the foundation is dedicated to the support of private military security contractors, conducting paramilitary security operations in some of the world’s most dangerous areas. “It is the only charity of its kind,” they said. “Although the private security contractor has served in the military he is considered a civilian and does not receive the same support offered to injured active military or veterans.
“We want to take care of the families,” said Geist during the Every Man Show interview. “We want to help the wives because in many cases they become the primary caregiver. We also do college funds for the children.”
The founders add, “We are a foundation that has been formed because of events that have taken place throughout the world where men have so bravely and anonymously offered their own life for the lives and safety of others.”
Geist, who was contracted by the U.S. to help protect diplomatic personnel inside Libya, not only gave the show hosts a detailed account of the Battle of Benghazi in which he was hit and wounded by three different IEDs landing within 15 feet of him, but shares how his survival and that of others could only be described as divine intervention by God.
Geist, known by his fellow warriors as “Oz,” gave remarkable details of the battle from his perspective, one that includes being part of the Global Response Staff (GRS) that was told to “stand down.” While Oz and the team were unable to save the lives of U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and three others, many lives were saved on the night members of Ansar al-Sharia attacked the American diplomatic compound and CIA annex in Benghazi.
Untold Benghazi story: Something more than sound bites
Every Man Show host, Kenny Luck, said he is excited for listeners to hear from Geist, firsthand, something more meaningful than sound bites often driven by political spin.
“What differentiates this interview from most coverage the public has seen or heard reported about The Battle of Benghazi is the discussion of the transcendent ‘meta-themes’ of freedom, sacrifice, and the high cost of liberty in any form,” Luck said. “In today’s culture, events such as Benghazi get chopped up and parsed out to the media hyenas which, in turn, gets over-politicized and sound-bited.
“The book and the film go a long way to uncover and reveal what happened but this interview affords listeners many moments where the transcendent philosophical and spiritual themes are allowed to burst through in a truthful and refreshing way,” he said. “When you watch the mainstream media there is a little voice inside that is dying to be heard—that voice is saying ‘You are missing the big ideas!’ This interview satisfies at that level.”
The Every Man Show, produced by One Ten Pictures, airs on KKLA 99.5 Los Angeles on radio and through its website Monday-Friday 10:30 to 11 pm. The interview with Mark “Oz” Geist airs Wed-Fri, May 24-26.