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A1C Spencer Stone, Army National Guard Spc. Alek Skarlatos, and Anthony Sadler—the three Americans who thwarted a terrorist attack aboard a Paris-bound train—were awarded medals Sept. 17 at a ceremony in the Pentagon courtyard. Stone received the Airman’s Medal and the Purple Heart, Skarlatos received the Soldier’s Medal, and Sadler received the Medal of Valor. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said the three friends working together to stop an attack is “a perfect example of the force that we have now, and the force of the future: Active Duty, Guard, and civilian teamed together to produce a powerful force.” The trio also visited the White House and met President Obama, who said they “represent the very best of America, American heritage. And it’s these kinds of young people who make me extraordinarily optimistic about the future.” Stone told reporters after the award ceremony that visiting the White House and the Oval Office was “amazing.”