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Salute Seen Round the World

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KMSP) -- Some are calling it the "salute heard around the world" after a photo of a wounded soldier saluting his commanding officer in Afghanistan has gone viral on the Internet.

U.S. Army Ranger Cpl. Josh Hargis is pictured saluting his commanding officer after being presented a Purple Heart medal.

The soldier was severely wounded by an explosive device Oct. 6 in Afghanistan. The blast killed four members of Hargis' 3rd Army Ranger Battalion and wounded 12 other American soldiers.

Hargis' wife, Taylor, said everyone in the room assumed her husband was unconscious on her Facebook page.

"Despite being in intense pain and mental duress, Josh remained alert and compassionate to the limited Rangers that were allowed to visit him bedside, "the commander who sent the picture wrote in a letter to Taylor.

Hargis' wounds called for him to be hooked up to a breathing tube.

His heavily-bandaged saluting hand (right hand), rested under red, white and blue blankets when his commanding officer came into his room to present Hargis with the Purple Heart.

It is military protocol for a soldier to salute when he receives the Purple Heart so when the Purple Heart presentation began, Hargis struggled to move his right hand and lift it into a saluting position

"Despite his wounds, wrappings, tubes and pain, Josh fought the doctor who was trying to restrain his right arm," Taylor Hargis wrote. He then "rendered the most beautiful salute any person in that room had ever seen."

 
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