Seriously wounded Ranger who was thought to be unconscious defies injuries to salute his commander when given Purple Heart
A seriously-wounded Army Ranger who was thought to be unconscious has shown an astonishing act of defiance by saluting his senior as he was presented with the Purple Heart in hospital.John Hargis, from Cincinnati, Ohio, has been hailed an inspiration after his wife uploaded an image to Facebook showing him raising his arm to show respect for the higher-ranking officer.
The touching moment - which his commander called the single greatest event he has witnessed in his 10 years in the Army - came after Hargis underwent surgery in a military hospital in Afghanistan.He had suffered serious leg injuries after a female suicide bomber detonated her explosives in Panjwai last week, killing four of Hargis' comrades. He was on his fourth tour of Afghanistan.
Days later as he lay motionless in his hospital bed in intensive care, a simple military ceremony was conducted to honour him with a Purple Heart, an award for his sacrifice to his country.But to everyone's complete surprise Hargis, who was thought to still be unconscious after the extensive surgery, raised his right hand to salute his commander.
He battled a neck brace, breathing apparatus and tubes and even competed with a doctor who tried to stop him from moving to complete the mark of respect.
The brave and magnanimous gesture brought tears to the eyes of the 50 grown men and soldiers who had gathered in the room to witness the ceremony.