'Salute seen round the world'

By: Clifton French


They say a picture is worth a thousand words. For one Fort Myers native, a picture of her husband injured in Afghanistan says much more.

On October 6, four soldiers were killed in a suicide and IED attack in Afghanistan. Fourteen others were severely injured. One of those injured, a 24-year-old man, managed to do something nobody expected of him. Today that action is being called the "salute heard round the world."

"I'm a proud wife of an Army Ranger and he is a badass and he is strong and he is the epitome of what a man and an American and a soldier are," said Taylor Hargis about her husband, Corporal Josh Hargis, who is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio.

Taylor, who grew up in Fort Myers, is learning more about her husband through a picture sent to her from his commander.

Injured in action, lying in a hospital bed in Afghanistan and lucky to be alive, Cpl. Hargis' commander placed a Purple Heart on his blanket. In a letter to Hargis' wife, that's when the soldier's commander says he saw the most amazing thing he has seen in his 10 years in the Army.

"When the commander leaned over to thank him for his service and his sacrifice, my husband, who everyone thought was unconscious, raised his hand to salute him," Taylor said.

According to Public Affairs officials with the 75th Ranger Regiment, Cpl. Hargis never even opened his eyes and raised his hand despite medical personnel trying to hold it down.

According to those same officials, his injuries happened during a night raid on a home suspected to house people planning a suicide attack. That's where the Rangers were hit by a suicide bomber. When other soldiers came to render medical aid, a series of IED's were detonated. Dozens were injured, 14 severely and four were killed.

Today, Hargis is healing. His wife did not wish to talk about the specifics of his injuries, but says he will have a long recovery. He should arrive at an Army base in Texas on Tuesday evening.

"Who knows what's next, these are definitely different plans than we had imagined, but we're happy we still get to have one," Taylor said.

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