Josh Hargis, an American hero wounded in Afghanistan after a female suicide bomber detonated her vest, has had the Internet abuzz ever since a picture of him saluting his commanding officer, after he was presented with the Purple Heart, went viral.
Hargis was given the Purple Heart while bedridden in his hospital room, where nearly 50 people gathered by his side. The moment that was captured is being called “the salute seen around the world," according to Cincinnati.com.
The Cincinnati native, a Ranger with the 3rd Ranger Battalion, was wounded last week during an incident that left four members of his team dead and several others wounded, Guardian of Valor wrote. The team was reportedly trying to capture a HVT (High Value Target) man for questioning.
The man, it turned out, dropped to his knees and lifted his shirt to show he that wasn’t actually wearing a suicide bomb vest. But as he was getting questioned, a woman ran at the soldiers and blew herself up.
Hargis' wife took to Facebook after she received a picture of her husband saluting, and she posted it to the social media site, along with a letter from her 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,” she wrote. “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.”
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In the letter, the commander, who has not been named, said Hargis survived his injuries for two hours before arriving at the hospital. He was then rushed into surgery, after which he experienced “intense pain and mental duress.”
In his hospital room, most of his visitors thought he was unconscious, but "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 commander's full letter can be read on Guardian of Valor.
The image Taylor posted on Facebook has more than 4,000 shares after being on the social media site since Saturday.