The image of a wounded serviceman offering his commanding officer a salute after receiving the Purple Heart is fast becoming “the salute seen around the world” according to Guardian of Valor.
Josh Hargis, a U.S. Army Ranger with the 3rd Ranger Battalion, was severely wounded last week during an attack in the Panjwai district of Afghanistan. That engagement left four of his team members dead when a woman detonated a suicide vest. This photo and a letter from his commander was sent to his wife, Taylor, according to Cincinnati’s WLWT.
Taylor Hargis posted both the letter and photo of her husband raising his right arm in salute as he was awarded a Purple Heart. The letter read:
“Josh, whom everybody in the room (over 50 people) assumed to be unconscious, began to move his right arm under the blanket in a diligent effort to salute the Commander as is customary during these ceremonies. Despite his wounds, wrappings, tubes, and pain, Josh fought the doctor who was trying to restrain his right arm and rendered the most beautiful salute any person in that room had ever seen,” the note read.
The photo shows Hargis lying in his hospital bed, arms bandaged and restrained and a breathing tube in his trachea, offering an officer a salute in return for his award of a Purple Heart.
“I cannot impart on you the level of emotion that poured through the intensive care unit that day. Grown men began to weep and we were speechless at a gesture that speak volumes about Josh’s courage and character,” the note read, Taylor Hargis said.
Taylor Hargis’ post has been shared nearly 4,000 times.
Hargis has since been moved to a military hospital in Germany, and from there he will be transferred to San Antonio, Tex. for further treatment as WLWT reports.
Duty, honor, country.
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