Wednesday, September 2, 2015

What the Heck?


OK, enough is enough.  Recently, three Americans (aka, citizens of the USA) and a Brit ex-patriot living in Paris, responded when a terrorist attacked the passengers on a high-speed French train.  The terrorist, a 26-year-old Moroccan man, Ayoub El-Khazzani, who boarded the train in Brussels, was armed with an AK-47 automatic (yes, automatic, not semi-automatic) rifle and a (semi-automatic) 9mm pistol.  Two of those Americans, Spencer Stone (USAF) and Alek Skarlatos (USA - NG), are American military; buff and trained in some combat situations.  Alek had just returned from a tour in Afghanistan.  The fourth tag-along was a college student named Anthony Sadler - a fairly trim young man who was vacationing with his two military friends.  Chris Norman, a British citizen who lives in Paris, was the real hero.  The Frenchman who first jumped on the gunman is still recovering from his wounds and wishes to remain anonymous. But he took a bullet to the neck in the first few seconds of the attack.

Anthony appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon (as well as several other TV shows and news reports) and is telling "his story" around the world.  Some in California are even taking up a collection to help him pay for his last year in college.  So, what is wrong with all of this?  Well, let's see; first, according to what I saw last night, Anthony was sleeping when the gunman first fired through a glass partition on the door of their partition.  When he groggily started to get to his feet, his two military buddies were already charging down the aisle toward the gunman.  Not wanting to be left out, Anthony went along behind his two military buddies.  On The Tonight Show, Anthony said that they "... pounded on the guy... " to put him down.  Brave words indeed.  Especially since Stone was the one who put the gunman in a choke hold and was wrestling him to the ground.

In the ensuing struggle with the gunman, Stone had his thumb almost sliced off when the gunman produced a box cutter from his pocket.  One of the two military guys, Alek, was a medic in Afghanistan and helped Chris, the Brit, who had been shot in the neck.  Alek kept the guy from bleeding to death until help could arrive.  

Here's the thing:  The two military guys have been, for the most part, ignored by press.  I wonder why?  They seem normal.  Maybe the press is just infatuated with the Chris Rock look-alike and the service guys just look too ordinary to be heroes.  But somewhere along the line, the press and the Hollywood elite will have to own up that the least heroic of the four was Mr. Sadler - yet, he seems to be getting all the press. 

This is like the Three Muskeeters.  Remember them?  (These descriptions came from Wikipedia.)
  • Porthos – Isaac de Portau: A dandy, fond of fashionable clothes.
  • Aramis – Henry d'Aramitz: A deeply religious younger Musketeer.
  • Athos – Armand de Sillègue d'Athos d'Autevielle: The last Musketeer to be introduced. He seems immune to romantic feeling. To an extent, he becomes a father figure to d'Artagnan.
Finally there was the tag-along, much like Anthony in our story.  D'Artagnan – Charles de Batz de Castelmore d'Artagnan: He is not one of the "Three Musketeers" in the sense that he does not become a Musketeer until nearly the end of the novel, being merely a guard attached to Monsieur des Essart's company for the majority of the book.  But he is the main focus of the story.  A mere lad who lacks the good sense to actually JOIN the Muskeeters and rise through the ranks like the three real heroes of the story. 

Go figure...