Army Strong: Ranger’s unconscious salute inspires, captivates a grateful nation

Wounded Ranger Josh Hargis. (Credit: Taylor Hargis Facebook page).Wounded Ranger Josh Hargis. (Credit: Taylor Hargis Facebook page).
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There’s tough. There’s Marine Corps tough. And now there’s an entirely new category: Injured, hooked-to-tubes, unconscious — but still saluting — Army Ranger tough.

That’s one of the messages gleaned from looking at a photograph gone viral of the prone, bed-ridden and injured Cpl. Josh Hargis, in a medical facility in Afghanistan with tubes and wires stemming from his body, eyes closed, believed unconscious.


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Yet the Army Ranger raises his gauze-wrapped, right-hand wrist to his head and stretches his fingers into a salute.

The other message: Inspiration.

Cpl. Hargis was wounded during a high-risk Ranger mission to root out and capture a top-ranking terrorist suspect earlier this month. He was caught in the explosion of a woman who was wearing and detonated a suicide bomb vest. When that blast went off, another 13 other improvised devices blew, ultimately killing four Americans and wounding several others, The New York Post reported.

Ranger Josh Hargis and his wife Taylor. (Credit: Taylor Hargis Facebook page)

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Ranger Josh Hargis and his wife Taylor. (Credit: Taylor Hargis Facebook page) more >

Cpl. Hargis was considered a lucky survivor. Two of his fellow Rangers were killed in that same operation, as well as two other Army military members: Sgt. Patrick Hawkins, Pfc. Cody Paterson, Lt. Jennifer Moreno and Special Agent Joseph Peters with the Criminal Investigation Command.

Cpl. Hargis‘ wife, Taylor, posted the photo of her saluting unconscious husband on Facebook — and it’s since rocketed around the Internet.

It caught the nation’s attention as President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to Army Capt. William Swenson for his heroic action in Afghanistan in 2009.


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