- - Saturday, August 29, 2015

In addition to their military training, what motivated the Americans on a Paris-bound train to leap up and overwhelm an armed terrorist last week

According to stories in The Sacramento Bee and The Gospel Herald (compiled here), these young men are grounded in the Christian faith.

“They’re all Christians, they’re all very religious.” Peter Skarlatos, the brother of Alek Skarlato told the Sacramento Bee.

Sadler is the son of a Baptist pastor in Sacramento, California. All three young men were childhood friends who attended California’s Freedom Christian School together and regularly played military games in their youth, according to the Gospel Herald.

Airman Stone was stabbed “multiple times” in the back and severed a tendon and nerve on his hand, according to the AP. El Khazzani drew his pistol and put it to Airman Stone’s head and pulled the trigger twice.

“But it clicked twice and didn’t go off,” Airman Stone’s mother, Joyce Eskel, said later, according to news reports.

“We believe God’s providential will worked its way out,” [Pastor Sadler] said. “I’m just thankful they were there and got things done.”

Pastor Sadler said his son has a “great love for his friends. There’s no way he would stand on the sidelines and watch them get attacked,” Sadler Sr. said. “I’m thanking God they were not seriously injured.”

The young men were presented with one of France’s greatest medals, The Legion of Honor, on August 24th.

Their being awarded The Legion of Honor hearkens back to the American hero of World War I, Sergeant Alvin C. York, who also won the award after risking his life to save his fellow soldiers—and in the process, single-handedly captured numerous German soldiers. 

For further reading, my friend Owen Strachan wrote a fantastic piece, “Four Americans in France Show the World What it Means to be a Man.”

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