Train Hero Spencer Stone to Receive Purple Heart

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

Spencer Stone, one of three American heroes who thwarted a terrorist attack on a crowded French train last month will receive the Purple Heart on Thursday afternoon in the central courtyard of the Pentagon.

Air Force Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone will have the purple heart hung around his neck personally by Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, according to the Sacramento Bee. Stone is a native of Carmichael, California, which is located in Sacramento County. Carter will reportedly be honoring Stone and his childhood friends, Sacramento State University student Anthony Sadler and National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos, along with Adm. James Winnefeld, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

In addition to receiving the military medal, Stone will reportedly be promoted two ranks, bypassing the level of senior airman to reach staff sergeant, notes the Bee.

Stone and his two friends have already been awarded with France’s highest decoration, the Legion D’honneur, for their heroism. The three friends were also honored with a parade on September 11 in Sacramento.

The alleged Moroccan-born gunman, Ayoub El-Khazzani, 26, had burst out of the restroom of the train which was traveling from Paris to Amsterdam and cocked his automatic AK-47 rifle in preparation to shoot at helpless passengers.

That is when Stone tackled him, while his two friends wrestled the gun out of his hands, struggling to overpower him, and beat him until he passed out. El-Khazzani was arrested and faces multiple terrorism charges in France of attempted murder, weapons possession and conspiracy, notes the Bee. He was previously listed on a terror watch list in Spain.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz and on Facebook.


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