Army Ranger Believed Unconscious, Salutes Commander As He Receives Purple Heart [Photo]

An Army ranger which was severely injured and believed to be unconscious, struggled to salute his commander during a ceremony in which he received the Purple Heart.

Josh Hargis lost both legs and was gravely injured last week during a battle in Afghanistan. He is hooked to several machines and has bandages to cover the many wounds he sustained during the battle.

While hooked to a breathing machine at an Afghanistan hospital, Hargis, who was thought to be unconscious, suddenly began to move his arm to salute his commanding officer.

The attending doctor tried to prevent him from doing so, but he struggled to make the touching salute.

“I cannot impart on you the level of emotion that poured through the intensive care unit that day,” the commander wrote to the Army Ranger’s wife. “Grown men began to weep, and we were speechless at a gesture that speaks volumes about Josh’s courage and character.”

About 50 other Rangers were present during the Purple Heart ceremony as well as doctors and nurses and very few dry eyes.

The commanding officer called the salute the “most beautiful” any person in the room had ever seen.

“I’m overwhelmed. I’m overwhelmed that that’s my boy, that he could come from me. Yeah, I’m overwhelmed,” Jim Hargis, the Ranger’s father, told Fox 19.

Hargis was injured while his unit, the 3rd Ranger Battalion, was following leads on the whereabouts of a high-value target. The Army Ranger and his wife are expecting a child soon. He will be transferred to the military hospital in San Antonio, Texas.