4. Warrior to healer
A bloody Stone then noticed that Moogalian was bleeding out from his carotid artery on the side of his neck. It was in that moment that his first aid and medical training in the Air Force enabled him to help save a life.
Stone proceeded to stick his finger in Moogalian's carotid artery in his neck and held his vein in place until medical assistance arrived.
5. International heroes
When it was all over, the three men were recognized as international heroes. They were recognized by former U.S. Ambassador to France Jane D. Hartley for their "actions in saving countless lives," and by former U.S. President Barack Obama with a ceremony held at The Pentagon to honor the three. Former French President Francois Hollande also awarded the three Americans, along with Briton Chris Norman, with the Legion of Honor, the highest French order for military and civil merits.
Moogalian, the first passenger to tackle the gunman during the terrorist attack, was also awarded the Legion of Honor by Hollande. Moogalian has dual citizenship in both France and the United States.
"It was pretty crazy when we got home. I think for all of us, especially for me, I didn't really realize how big of a story it was in the United States," Skarlatos recalled. "I could understand how the French would think it was a big story, but I didn't think it would be picked up in the states as much. When we got home, I was just blown away by how many people were interested in our story. And from then on it was pretty much interviews and TV shows, and we've honestly had the best life ever since."
In 2016, they teamed up once again to write a memoir on their 2015 experience under the publisher Perseus Books Group. Never did they expect their gripping true story would then be selected by Eastwood as a film project.
6. Heroes to movie stars
Eastwood decided to ask Sadler, Skarlatos and Stone to star in the film, "The 15:17 to Paris," as themselves. This made it possible for them to share their inspiring story of faith on an even larger platform and become Hollywood actors while they were at it.
"He wanted to tell our story accurately. He didn't want to Hollywood it up and he didn't want anything in the story that didn't actually happen," Sadler told CP. "Us not being actors before that made it easy for us, because he just kept telling us to do what we did. So it was essential, if you're going to tell a story about our lives, to have the faith element in there because it was important throughout our lives and important that day."
Stone noted, "Clint is not overly religious himself, which is no secret, but he definitely knows that after hearing the story and all of the circumstance that went on, he knows that something was looking out for us. That was pretty interesting just to hear him say that."
"Clint Eastwood is a fantastic director," Skarlatos said in agreement, "and being able to be such a part of the process and having a lot of say of how accurate things were made us feel important through the whole thing."
7. There's a hero in everyone
All the research done for the movie by the filmmakers actually helped clarify a lot of things that happened on the train for the three friends. They were also happy to be reunited on set with some of the passengers who were on the train with them during the terrorist attack.
"Not only did we play ourselves but Moogalian and his wife, Isabelle Risacher Moogalian, did as well. Chris Norman, the medical team, police, and train employees will also be in the film," Stone said. "A lot of times the media will give all the credit to us but in reality, there were other people there who helped. Mark took a bullet for us."
When all is said and done, and their story is immortalized forever on the silver screen, the men just hope their lives will serve as an inspiration to others.
"We were just ordinary guys and we've never seen anything traumatic like that before," Sadler said. "But we were put in an extraordinary situation. We want people to take away from the film that whatever obstacles they're facing, they're capable of doing the extraordinary as well."
Skarlatos advised, "If anybody is ever in a situation like that, just to do anything positive. Call 911, just do anything to help somebody out."
Hollywood actors Judy Greer, Tony Hale and Jenna Fischer also star in "The 15:17 to Paris."
Eastwood ("Sully," "American Sniper") directed and produced the Warner Bros. film which hits theaters nationwide Feb. 9.