Hero who thwarted train attack considers career in politics

FILE - In this Sept. 17, 2015 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks to Air Force Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. Stone, one of three Americans to thwart a terrorist attack on a Paris-bound train, will be a guest of First Lady Michelle Obama at the State of the Union. Staff Sgt. Spencer Stone told The Associated Press, Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, that attending Tuesday's presidential address will be the highlight of the revelry that followed the thwarted train attack. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
FILE - In this Sept. 17, 2015 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks to Air Force Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. Stone, one of three Americans to thwart a terrorist attack on a Paris-bound train, will be a guest of First Lady Michelle Obama at the State of the Union. Staff Sgt. Spencer Stone told The Associated Press, Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, that attending Tuesday's presidential address will be the highlight of the revelry that followed the thwarted train attack. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – A U.S. airman who was hailed as a hero for helping thwart a European terror attack and later survived a stabbing attack in his hometown of Sacramento will be a guest of first lady Michelle Obama at Tuesday’s State of the Union address.

Attending the presidential address will be the highlight of the acclaim that followed last year’s thwarted train attack, Staff Sgt. Spencer Stone told The Associated Press on Monday.

The previous highlight was meeting Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, he said.

Stone plans to finish his commitment to the U.S. Air Force then use his veteran benefits to pursue a college degree.

After that, he said, he may consider a career in politics, though he described himself as a typical 23-year-old who frequently changes his mind.

“It never has been a thought in my head before, but being around different politicians and meeting them and what they do, it’s pretty interesting,” Stone said of a potential political career.

Among the other possible future careers would be medicine or federal law enforcement, if his health allows it.

Stone suffered a severely cut thumb and a knife wound to his neck in August when he and two childhood friends from Sacramento, California, stopped a terror attack aboard a Paris-bound passenger train.

Stone, National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos and college student Anthony Sadler were vacationing in Europe when they tackled Ayoub El-Khazzani, a man who authorities said has ties to radical Islam and boarded the train with a Kalashnikov rifle, pistol and box cutter.

Stone was knifed Oct. 8 in a fight near a bar in Sacramento shortly after nightclub patrons applauded him for his role in stopping the gunman.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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