Josh Hargis, a Ranger with the 3rd Ranger Battalion, was wounded last week in the attack that left four other members of his team dead. The 3rd was conducting a mission to try to capture a HVT(High Value Target), in the Panjwai district of Afghanistan.
With the little info we know so far, 36 members and a canine unit were attempting to capture a high value target in Panjwai in southern Afghanistan. When the troops arrived at the home, U.S. military officials said, the unit did a typical “call out” asking for those inside to come out.
One man appeared. Reports from the battlefield suggest he dropped to his knees and lifted his shirt to show the U.S. forces that he was not wearing a suicide bomb vest.
As several members of the Ranger unit moved toward the man to begin questioning him, a woman wearing a suicide vest emerged from the house and blew herself up, killing several members of the unit instantly, along with the dog, and injuring others.
Another Afghan male tried to escape from the compound.
As U.S. army medics, explosives specialists and others in the unit moved in to help the wounded, 13 improvised explosive devices went off, killing and injuring more U.S. forces.
Josh was one of the wounded and was evacuated for medical assistance. The photo below is Josh in a hospital in Afghanistan, right after the doctors stabilized his injuries. His wife posted this picture, along with what she received from Josh’s commander, this is a true warrior! No matter the pain we know Josh is in, he render’s the most beautiful salute you will ever see!
We will call this “The Salute Seen Around The World!” as it should be, and it should show what a true Warrior’s Spirit looks like! RANGERS LEAD THE WAY!
This is what Josh’s wife Taylor posted to her FB:
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. 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.
“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 his 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 seen.
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.”
I agree with the commander, this should adorn the cover of every newspaper, magazine and news show. This shows the true meaning of the Warrior Spirit! Josh you are a true American Hero! Our thoughts and prayer’s go out to you, your wife, and all your Ranger brothers and those who made the ultimate sacrifice during the attack.
Get well soon brother! You have America behind you! We love you brother!
Taylor and Josh’s Commander wanted this photo to be seen and posted to every news site in the country, and as of today it has been. We dubbed this photo “Salute Seen Around The World” when we posted it two days ago, we hoped it would catch on in the main stream media, so that the American people would see that our brothers and sisters are still serving in harm’s way.
Josh is the epitome of what a Warrior is, he is the strength that holds our beloved country together. Today Taylor said, “He is a Badass”, yes he is and a true American Hero! Thank you Taylor and Josh for allowing us to share your story to the world.
“Please continue to share Josh’s story. Thank you to all who have and are reaching out and helping us through this. The world should know what is happening over seas. The world should know what true heroes and warriors are.” Said Taylor about the sharing of the story.
She also said. “ I’m glad it is getting attention. He is one among many heroes some injured, some still in the fight, and some who paid the ultimate sacrifice. We hope his story will shed some light on what is still happening over seas.”
We also would like everyone to take a moment to remember those brave Warriors that did not survive the attack that day; Sgt. Joseph Peters, Pfc. Cody Patterson, Sgt. Patrick Hawkins, and 1st Lt. Jennifer M. Moreno. Rest Easy Soldiers!
The Nurse that was present with Josh when this photo was taken contacted us today and wanted us to share the following, this is also to Taylor and the family of Cpl. Hargis.
I wanted to share with you and the family of Ranger Hargis that it was an Honor for me to be at his bedside during his purple heart ceremony. As a Navy Nurse here at Role 3 hospital, it was I that was holding his arm as he began to raise it up during the ceremony.
Fearing he would dislodge critical components required for health, I steadfastly held his hand, while he continued to raise it I whispered in his ear letting him know what was happening. I then realized he was attempting to render salute, so I ensured all medical equipment was safe and secure from being dislodged. This was a pinnacle of pride and valor to witness and I am honored to cared for Ranger Hargis. I am honored to be here at Role 3 as a Navy Nurse to give the best care to our warriors. STAY STRONG RANGER HARGIS!
LT Larry Nettles USN NC”