Oregon guardsman who helped stop train attack to be honored

AP News
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Posted: Aug 25, 2015 11:08 PM
Oregon guardsman who helped stop train attack to be honored

WASHINGTON (AP) — Aleksander Skarlatos, one of three Americans who subdued a heavily armed gunman on a Paris-bound train, will be awarded one of the U.S. Army's highest honors.

Senior Army leaders say Skarlatos, a member of the Oregon National Guard, will get the Soldiers Medal — the Army's highest award for acts of heroism not involving actual conflict with the enemy.

Skarlatos was traveling from Amsterdam when the gunman emerged from a train lavatory carrying an AK-47 and a Lugar pistol. After hearing the sound of gunfire, Skarlatos called on other passengers to act, then charged the gunman, helped wrestle his firearms away and helped knock him unconscious with his own rifle.

"Spec. Skarlatos' actions that day epitomize what we mean by a soldier of character — one who lives by a personal code where dedication to duty and taking care of others is sacred," said Army Secretary John McHugh.

Skarlatos is in Germany with his friend, U.S. Air Force Airman Spencer Stone, who is undergoing treatment for injuries suffered in the attack. The third American, Anthony Sadler, returned home Tuesday by commercial plane to Sacramento International Airport, accompanied by his parents.

President Francois Hollande gave all three his country's highest award, the Legion d'Honneur, for their actions in subduing the gunman on the high-speed train carrying 500 passengers.