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Wounded soldier salute goes viral
CINCINNATI (WKRC) -- An Army Ranger from the Tri-State was badly injured while fighting in Afghanistan.
A picture posted by the Guardian of Valor website shows Joshua Hargis saluting as he receives a Purple Heart in his hospital bed.
According to his Facebook page, Joshua Hargis graduated from Dater High School in 2007. Hargis is with Company B, 3rd Ranger Battalion out of Ft. Benning Georgia. He was injured in a suicide bomb attack that killed four other members of his unit on October 6 in the Zhari District. Hargis is in Germany and will be sent to a hospital in San Antonio, Texas.
His wife Taylor, posted the following on her Facebook page after receiving the picture from Josh's commander: I received this picture today along with a letter from the commander of the team Josh was a part of on the night of his injuries. A letter to explain to me what kind of man I have the privilege of being married to. He explained to me what happened and what was going on in the picture.
"Josh was seriously wounded as you know and survived for almost two hours after his injury before arriving to the hospital. Josh was immediately pushed through a series of surgeries and emerged hours later into an intensive care unit here at our base in Afghanistan.
Despite being in intense pain and mental duress, Josh remained alert and compassionate to the limited Rangers that were allowed to visit him bedside. Prior to Josh being moved to Germany for his eventual flight to America, we conducted a ceremony to award him with the Purple Heart for wounds received in action.
A simple ceremony, you can picture a room full of Rangers, leaders, doctors, and nurses surrounding his bedside while the Ranger Regimental Commander pinned the Purple Heart to his blanket. During the presentation the Commander publishes the official orders verbally and leaned over Josh to thank him for his sacrifice.
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.
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 picture, which we believe belongs on every news channel and every news paper is attached. I have it hanging above my desk now and will remember it as the single greatest event I have witnessed in my ten years in the Army."
(Photo courtesy: Guardian of Valor)