Unsung Heroes: soldiers stopping terror

U.S. military men take down French gunman


Collage by Marissa Panasiti

Three U.S. men are awarded for their bravery and courage

Two unarmed U.S. military members took down a gunman on a Paris-bound train in late August.

While upon the train, sounds of gunfire and shattering glass roared through the air. Without thinking, two American soldiers started to counterattack, without any weapons.

“I told him to go, and he went,” said Alek Skarlatos, a member of the National Guard.

The gunman’s weapons included an AK-47 rifle and a box cutter.  Mr. Skarlatos was first to respond by grabbing the rifle when his friend, Anthony Sadler, ran to his side.

Within the battle, the gunman drew his gun and box cutter and began attacking the U.S. men. Airman Stone suffered injuries to areas above the neck, but they were not life-threatening.

Knowing what they had to do, the U.S. men rendered the man unconscious, and handed him over to French officials.

The gunman came to be identified as Ayoub El-Khazzani, a Moroccan citizen who was found to belong to the “radical Islamist movement.”

The trio of U.S. soldiers and a life-long friend received medals for their bravery and courage, while being thanked by President Obama.

“It is clear that their heroic actions may have prevented a far worse tragedy.”