ROSEBURG, OR – Best known for his heroic efforts, along with four others, that stopped an armed terrorist on a Paris-bound train in August 2015, Greek-American Alek Skarlatos is now running for Congress in Oregon.
According to his statement on his campaign’s website, “As I traveled the district when I returned home from my deployment, I had the privilege to meet people from all walks of life. I began to see how opportunity to make a sustainable middle-class life has dwindled here due to policies from DC imposing regulatory and tax burdens that have driven out the timber industry. Wages are flat and the cost of living keeps increasing every day. I’m running for Congress because it's time we have someone who will stand with Southern Oregon. The loggers, veterans, moms, dads, and families trying to make ends meet. It’s time we have a congressman who will serve you, not the extremists in DC.”
Skarlatos is a former Oregon National Guardsman. He attended both Air Assault School and Sniper School, achieving the rank of Specialist. He completed a nine-month deployment in Afghanistan with the US Army National Guard's 186th Infantry Regiment, 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team in 2015.
Skarlatos, along with four others, stopped an armed terrorist on a Paris-bound train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris in August 2015. His heroism earned him several awards and medals around the world including, the United States' Soldier’s Medal. In addition, he received the Chevalier of the Legion of Honour and the medal of the City of Arras, France.
After serving with the National Guardsman for five years, Skarlatos left military service in November 2017. Upon completing his service, he voiced his inspiring experience by authoring 15:17 to Paris: The True Story of A Terrorist, A Train, and Three American Heroes describing the events that led up to the attack on the train ride to Paris from Amsterdam. Skarlatos later had the privilege of working with legendary director Clint Eastwood on the film 15:17 to Paris that portrayed the harrowing attack in which Skarlatos starred as himself. He went on to tour the country on public speaking engagements encouraging others to take control of their lives and the importance of duty to the community.
Skarlatos’ experience stretches beyond the military. With a strong belief in service to his community, he stays active by advocating for responsible forest management in Southern Oregon. He lives in Roseburg where he spends his free time hiking and exploring all that Oregon has to offer.
Skarlatos was the Grand Marshal of the New York Greek Independence Parade in 2016.