Army Ranger Josh Hargis, with the 3rd Ranger Battalion, was wounded last week when a woman wearing a suicide vest detonated, killing “several members of the unit instantly,” and injuring others. His Commanding Officer presented him with the Purple Heart while in the hospital and believed to be unconscious. To the amazement of the people in the room, he stirred and pulled his arm from under the blankets and saluted. Grown men wept. Read the Commander’s letter to Mrs. Hargis below. UPDATE 8-16-13 @ 10:59 pm CDT: Such sobering and sad news. I’ve just learned that Josh lost of his legs in the attack you’ll read about below. He stepped on one of numerous IEDs planted around an area where a woman detonated her suicide vest.belt.
As U.S. army medics, explosives specialists and others in the unit moved in to help the wounded, 13 improvised explosive devices went off, killing and injuring more U.S. forces.
Josh was one of the wounded and was evacuated for medical assistance. The photo below is Josh in a hospital in Afghanistan, right after the doctors stabilized his injuries. His wife posted this picture, along with what she received from Josh’s commander, this is a true warrior! No matter the pain we know Josh is in, he render’s the most beautiful salute you will ever see!
We will call this “The Salute Seen Around The World!” as it should be, and it should show what a true Warrior’s Spirit looks like! RANGERS LEAD THE WAY! Read more at Guardian of Valor (all emphasis mine)
Josh is from Cincinnati and received “serious leg injuries.” Taylor Hargis, Josh’s wife, posted a letter on Facebook from the Commanding Officer who presented the Purple Heart to Josh at the hospital.
“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 newspaper, 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.” Source: WCPO
Prayers for God’s blessing for Josh and Taylor Hargis.