Stone, Alek Skarlatos and Anthony Sadler were naturalized Jan. 31 at a ceremony in Sacramento. They were honored by Emmanuel Lebrun-Damiens, consul general of France in San Francisco, and Guy Michelier, honorary consul of France in Sacramento.
Skarlatos is a former soldier of the Oregon National Guard. All three men are from the Sacramento area.
On Aug. 21, 2015, the three Americans disarmed and subdued a gunman on a train from Amsterdam to Paris. Authorities say the attacker, Ayoub El-Khazzani, had ties to radical Islam.
The gunman stabbed Stone about an inch-and-a-half from his carotid artery and nearly severed Stone’s thumb during the struggle.
Stone later told reporters that he did not hesitate to charge the gunman even though he fully expected to be killed.
“I’m not going to run away,” he told reporters after the incident in September 2015. “I’m not going to leave everyone to die. I’d rather die trying than sit back and watch everyone get slaughtered.”
Stone, Skarlatos and Sadler all received France’s Legion of Honor for their heroic actions.
The three friends' memoir, “The 15:17 to Paris,” was turned into a movie, directed by Clint Eastwood, in which Sadler, Skarlatos and Stone played themselves.
Stone was also later awarded the Purple Heart and Airman’s Medal for his actions. Stone left the Air Force in 2016 as a staff sergeant assigned to Travis Air Force Base.
Stone told the Sacramento Bee that it was an amazing feeling to be recognized with dual citizenship, which could open up the opportunity to live in Europe in the future.
“We feel a certain connection with France,” Stone told the Bee. “It’s an honor that they’re opening their arms to us like that.”