Born in October of 1974, Darren LaBonte grew up in Southwest Connecticut, where he attended Brookfield High School and excelled in football and baseball. According to his father; Darren turned down a shot at professional baseball with the Cleveland Indians and instead opted for the Army after graduating from high school.

He enlisted in 1992 and found himself in Fort Benning, GA attending the Ranger Indoctrination Program as a Mortarman. After successfully completing the program, he was assigned to the 1st Ranger Battalion out of Savannnah, GA. He stayed for two enlistments and ended up leaving the military in 2000 after eight honorable years of service.

Darren and his friend Ali bin Zeid days before both being killed by an al-Qaeda informant.

Darren was newly married working as a police officer in Illinois when the terror attacks on September 11th occurred. Unable to sit on the sidelines, he decided to to continue serving his country and “make things right,” according to his father.

Between 2000 and 2006 Darren served as a police officer, a U.S. Marshal, and an F.B.I. Special Agent out of the New York field office, until he was recruited by the CIA in 2006 to serve initially as a Paramilitary Officer and then later as an Operations Officer/Case officer in Jordan. It was during this period of time that Darren graduated from Columbia College of Missouri, and subsequently received his Master’s degree in 2006 from Boston University, where he studied criminal justice.