SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon National Guard Specialist Alek Skarlatos was awarded the Oregon Distinguished Service Award in Salem on Wednesday morning.
22-year-old Skarlatos was presented the award by Governor Kate Brown for subduing a terrorist while traveling on a French train in August 2015.
“If we sat there he was going to get to us eventually. So you might as well give it a shot if you’re going to die anyway luckily we rolled sevens and got really lucky,” Skarlatos told KOIN in Salem after the ceremony.
“It’s humbling obviously because I’ve gotten awards from the French Government, the federal government but to be honored by my own state is a huge honor for me,” he said.
The guardsman hails from Roseburg and gained international fame for the actions he took on the train. He participated in ABC’s Dancing With The Stars over the summer.
Skarlatos and the other men he was travelling with who also helped subdue the attacker were awarded France’s highest medal in August, the Legion of Honor.
Skarlatos had been travelling in Europe with US Airman Spencer Stone, their friend Anthony Sadler and British businessman Chris Norman.