US Soldier Delivers The 'Salute Seen Around The World'

October 17, 2013

"The salute seen around the world" has the Internet buzzing, a patriotic clamor for a photo of a wounded 24-year-old soldier from Cincinnati raising his right hand.

The guy saluting is U.S. Army Ranger Cpl. Josh Hargis, battered by shrapnel Oct. 6 in Afghanistan.

Hargis' wife, Taylor Hargis, knows what the Internet calls the photo.

She just sees it as "a moment of pride."

Cpl. Hargis, a 2007 graduate of Westwood's Dater High School, was wounded after an Afghan woman in the Panjwayi District of Kandahar Province detonated a suicide vest bomb, which set off 13 other explosive devices. The blasts killed four members of Hargis' 3rd Army Ranger Battalion and wounded 12 other American soldiers.

Hargis went to a nearby military hospital. His numerous wounds required him to be hooked up to a breathing tube and other medical plumbing. His right hand was heavily bandaged.

That hand, his saluting hand, rested under red, white and blue blankets when his commanding officer came into his room. The officer wanted to present Hargis with the Purple Heart for the wounds he suffered earlier that day.

No one expected any response from Hargis.

"Josh had just come out of surgery. Everyone in the room, probably about 50 people, figured he was unconscious," Taylor Hargis said Tuesday. The soldier's wife of two and a half years spoke by phone from San Antonio, Texas. That's where her husband will be hospitalized. He is en route from an American military hospital in Germany.

As the Purple Heart presentation began, Hargis struggled to move his right hand and lift it into a saluting position. Military protocol calls for a soldier to salute when he receives the Purple Heart.

A doctor tried to restrain his right arm. It was, alas, a losing battle.

"He had no idea how strong and driven my husband is," Taylor Hargis said.

In pain from his wounds, still groggy from surgery, bandaged, hooked up to yards of tubes and without opening his blue-green eyes, Hargis delivered what his wife described as "the most beautiful salute any person in that room had ever seen."

The commanding officer told her the salute left everyone in the room in tears.

"I would have cried, too," Taylor Hargis said. "I also would have told him how proud I am of him, how proud I am to be his wife, how proud I am of the people he's serving with over in Afghanistan."

She would have also told him she was not surprised by his hospital-bed salute.

"He was just showing what it means to be a warrior and an American soldier," Taylor Hargis said.

Since the photo was taken of "the salute around the world," the corporal's breathing tube has been removed. Josh and Taylor Hargis have exchanged phone calls. She knows from the sound of his voice "he's going to be just fine."

Here's why. "If you want to know the meaning of strong," she said, "it's an Army Ranger."

If you want to know someone proud to serve his country, it's Josh Hargis.

Good News Source:

Click Here For The Most Popular On Sunny Skyz