Staff Sgt. Spencer Stone — who thwarted a terrorist attack on a Paris-bound train, earning him a Purple Heart, Airman's Medal and a two-rank bump in promotion — will be one of six veterans to attend President Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday.
Stone was awarded the Purple Heart and Airman's Medal, the Air Force's highest non-combat award, and received France and Belgium's highest honors. Stone sustained injuries — a stab wound near his carotid artery and a severed thumb — from the attack in August; separately, Stone was stabbed in a brawl outside a Sacramento, California, bar in October, which prompted open-heart surgery to save his life.
Stone, then an airman first class, was promoted to staff sergeant on Oct. 31.
Stone told Air Force Times last month he plans to leave the Air Force before his enlistment finishes in November, unless he hasn't already been medically discharged, "which is a high possibility."
The other veterans in attendance are:
Maj. Lisa Jaster. Jaster became the first female Army Reserve officer and third female overall to graduate from Ranger School. Jaster, a 37-year-old engineer, joins Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver as the only women in the Army to earn the coveted black and gold Ranger tab.
Earl Smith. A Vietnam War Army vet, Smith was part of a brigade that suffered 10,041 casualties and received 13 Medals of Honor. Smith met then-Senator Obama in an elevator in 2008 and gave him his lucky charm "screaming eagle" patch which he earned as a private during the war.
Naveed Shah. An immigrant of Pakistani parents, Shah enlisted in the Army in 2006 for four years and deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Shah volunteers for various veterans groups assisting in the transition between military and civilian life.