Benedictine welcomes Mark 'Oz' Geist

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The young men at Benedictine often hear about the past as it occurred inside the walls of their school.

But Wednesday's lesson in history and heroism came from the other side of the world and the heart of the country.

"I thought it was great," BC senior Brenton Aliotta said of the school's guest speaker Wednesday. "I like hearing directly what happened, not somebody else's opinion who wasn't even there."

Mark "Oz'' Geist, co-author of the book and movie "13 Hours", shared his story of how he and fellow military contractors defended the American consulate in Benghazi - five men against 40 insurgents - saving at least 25 American lives.

Presented at the school by Daniel Defense and BC parents Jason and Lori Barlow, Geist gave the Cadets his first-person account of several firefights through the night of Sept. 11, 2012, and why he believes he lived through them.

"The message is about leadership, overcoming adversity and most importantly, to do any of those, who you have to have in your life," said Geist. "Having those friends who are going to be there for you and what I call got your six and having your faith. I mean Jesus Christ has our six."

And as much as Benghazi has become a political touchstone, Geist's speech steered clear of politics.

"You know, the politicians have already screwed that up," he said. "They took this thing and threw it around like a football."

So, he focused rather on a tact that spoke directly to the Catholic military school.

"I was hearing faith from him a lot," said BC senior Dylan Ullery. "Especially when he was talking about being on the roof and he was hoping he was going to get to the firefight and he could get his fellow comrades to the firefight."

"The fact that he kept it on a personal level," said BC Headmaster Fr. Frank Ziemkiewicz. "The fact that he emphasized his faith life in the midst of a crisis, I think was invaluable to our students."

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