ISU students and local residents had the honor of meeting a true hero Tuesday night.
Spencer Stone was one of the three men who became overnight heroes, after stopping an armed terrorist aboard a train in France. A California man who was in the right place at the right time, on the other side of the world.
“In my situation, it was totally unique,” Spencer Stone said. “There’s no blueprint for what to do in any given situation.”
The former U.S. Airman was hailed a hero when he and two of his friends helped to tackle a gunman on a French train in August of 2015. The trio gained international attention for bravery.
“I didn’t think that this was all going to blow up the way it did and I didn’t think my life was going to go into this direction,” Stone said. “I thought the attack happened, cool I survived and I’m going to go on with my regular life and that just did not happen.”
Stone and his friends shared their experience to the world, in the best selling novel “15:17 to Paris.”
That book was later adapted into a major motion picture director by Clint Eastwood; Stone would later land the starring role.. as himself.
“At first yes, because that was my first first time acting of course and then when you are going through the process you kind of have to pick and choice what parts you want parts of yourself to share with the whole forever on screen,” Stone said. “So you kind of have to get over your insecurities a little bit and just be totally open and free.”
Stone now travels the country sharing their life lessons and the meaning of sacrifice.
During his visit to ISU’s campus, he stressed the importance of taking action when you see danger.
“The typical thing for people to do these days is kind of just sit back and watch or just pull out their phone and record,” Stone said. “So I am hoping to inspire them to do better be better and help others around them.”
When asked which was better the book or the movie, stone joked he couldn’t pick between the two. But if he absolutely had to choose he’d pick the movie because it’s more visual.
Stone was the first speaker during this year’s ISU speaker series; the next speaker will be Dwayne Betts, who wrote a book about his experiences as a prisoner who became an author, a poet and Yale student.
He will appear on October 22nd at 7 p.m. in The Tilson Auditorium.