Last week, three Americans foiled an attempted terrorist attack on a train in France. On Monday, they were awarded the Legion d’Honneur, France’s highest civilian honor, with their families in attendance thanks to Columbia Sportwear CEO Tim Boyle.

On the evening of Saturday August 22nd, Tim Boyle, CEO of outdoor apparel-maker Columbia Sportswear, heard about the heroes’ moms trying to get to Paris in time to watch their sons receive their special recognition. The inquiry came from Boyle’s pilot, Doug Perrill, who reached out to see if Boyle would consider sending the moms to Paris on their personal Dassault Falcon 2000 aircraft.

A Dassault Falcon 2000 jet like the one belonging to Tim and Mary Boyle.

Upon realizing how incredibly special the moment would be for these mothers and their heroic sons (Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler and Alek Skarlatos), as well as the very limited amount of time they had to make it to France for the ceremony, Boyle and his wife Mary immediately offered their jet. In an interview with The Oregonian/OregonLive, Boyle noted: “These guys who were so brave as to do what they did, I just felt they deserved to have their moms present.”

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Tim Boyle has a strong connection with his own mom, Gert Boyle, who is the face of Columbia’s “One Tough Mother” marketing campaigns and the company’s longstanding chairperson. The two have appeared in print and video advertisements together throughout the company’s history. It should be noted that Columbia Sportswear sought no recognition for the Boyle’s very generous gesture of goodwill, only releasing a statement when media caught wind of the flight.

According to FlightAware, a Dassault Falcon 2000 twin jet (registration N912MT) took off from Portland International Airport (PDX) on Sunday August 23rd at 11:13AM, headed for Bangor International Airport in Maine. From there, the jet made an almost-six hour flight directly into Paris-Le Bourget Airport (LBG). The jet has since returned to Hillsboro Airport (HIO), which is near the Columbia Sportswear headquarters in Oregon’s Washington County, just minutes west of Portland.

It is always great when selfless acts of heroism can be properly rewarded, and equally wonderful that the brave men who tackled the would-be terrorist were able to have their moms with them at the ceremony. Thanks to the generosity of Tim and Mary Boyle, these families now have more than one really great story to share from what could have otherwise been a terrible tragedy.

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Photo credit: Top shot - Michel Euler/AP, CS-DFE Dassault Falcon 2000 - Simon Boddy/Wikicommons, Spencer Stone arriving at Ramstein Air Base - Sara Keller/AP

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