Witnesses said a Moroccan man ducked into the restroom where he retrieved an AK-47 machine gun, a pistol, and a knife from his backpack, apparently intending to massacre everyone on the train. In the split second when the terrorist’s gun clicked without firing, 22-year-old Alek Skarlatos said “Let’s go; get him” and his buddy, 23-year-old Airman Spencer Stone, barreled down the aisle towards the terrorist with Alek and their friend Anthony Sadler right behind.
The three Americans managed to disarm and hogtie the terrorist before he could carry out his planned jihad, though not before Spencer Stone was severely wounded by the terrorist’s box cutter. Other passengers crouched behind their seats. The train’s crew had locked themselves inside the engine room. The Americans were unarmed, of course, because European trains are a gun-free zone.
There’s a reason why no woman has ever won our nation’s highest award for valor. The Medal of Honor recognizes a willingness to charge toward danger, to remove a threat, while everyone else is running away. These young men had been friends since their time together at Freedom Christian School in Carmichael, California. For all recorded human history, combat has been a profession for young men who bond together in small groups – a phenomenon known as unit cohesion. No nation in the world has successfully introduced women into combat units. This incident on a French train proves that all-male combat units are still needed, even in the era of push-button warfare.
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