Imagine you’re napping on a Paris-bound train when you’re startled awake to find an armed gunman threatening to kill everyone around you. What would you do?
Twenty-three-year-old U.S. Airman Spencer Stone didn’t have to think; his answer was immediate and instinctive. Spencer and his friends, Aleksander Skarlatos and Anthony Sadler, charged and subdued the well-armed gunman who was under a terrorist watch for suspected ties with ISIS. During the scuffle, Spencer was injured, but still saved another wounded passenger’s life.
For his heroism, Spencer received a Purple Heart, and French President Francois Hollande presented the trio with France’s esteemed Legion of Honor. President Obama said, “It’s these kinds of young people that made me extraordinarily optimistic and hopeful about our future.”
Spencer, Aleksander and Anthony are the co-authors of The 15:17 to Paris, which follows their lives leading up to the August 2015 attack. The book was released in August 2016.
Spencer speaks about his experience while inspiring students to take action and make a positive difference in the world.