As they stood over his hospital bed, the officials who came to present wounded Army Ranger Cpl. Josh Hargis with the Purple Heart thought the soldier was unconscious. They were in for an amazing surprise.

Hargis' commanding officer came to the military hospital where Hargis was being treated to present him with the Purple Heart. But as he pinned the medal to Hargis' blanket, the soldier lifted his arm and saluted, bringing the entire room to tears.


Via Taylor Hargis Facebook page

Taylor Hargis, the soldier's wife, posted this photo to her Facebook wall, along with a transcript of the letter sent to her by her husband's commanding officer.  In the letter, he writes:

Despite being in intense pain and mental duress, Josh remained alert and compassionate to the limited Rangers that were allowed to visit him bedside....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 commander goes on to write that the photo, which many are calling "The Salute Heard 'Round The World," should be on the front page of every media outlet in the world. In another Facebook post this morning, Hargis' wife asked people to help share the photo and story.

"Thank you to all who have and are reaching out and helping us through this," she wrote.  The world should know what is happening over seas.The world should know what true heroes and warriors are."