For those of us who feel that Obama has fundamentally transformed America by fundamentally transforming Americans — turning them into a race of whiners and weenies — it’s nice to have a reminder that there are still people of tremendous value out there, people like Army Ranger Josh Hargis, 24, who received a Purple Heart while lying in the ICU after losing both legs to a suicide bomber in Afghanistan while on his 4th tour of duty. Everyone who crowded into the ICU for the simple ceremony thought that Hargis was unconscious. He wasn’t. Despite tubes and wounds and pain and doctors trying to keep him from hurting himself, Hargis saluted his commanding officer. This is the photograph and, below it, the letter that the CO sent to Hargis’s wife, Taylor, both of which she posted on Facebook.
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 see.
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.
Needless to say, I wish Josh a speedy recovery. I have no doubt that he will cope with his disability with style, grace, and courage.