It’s been called “the most beautiful salute” and the “salute heard around the world,” but for U.S. Army Ranger Cpl. Josh Hargis, it was his duty.
U.S. Army Ranger Cpl. Josh Hargis was critically wounded by shrapnel after a suicide bomb was detonated in Afghanistan. He was left battered by shrapnel on Oct. 6 in Afghanistan. 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.
After coming out of surgery, Hargis’ commanding officer arrived to present him with the Purple Heart. No one expected any response from Hargis, but 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. Somehow, he found the strength to raise his right arm and salute. The commanding officer told Hargis’ wife the salute left everyone in the room in tears.