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Wounded soldier with viral salute to become a father

SAN ANTONIO — A wounded soldier healing in San Antonio after drawing national attention for a “salute seen around the world” soon will become a father.

Brooke Army Medical Center officials confirmed Friday that Cpl. Josh Hargis and his wife, Taylor, are expecting their first child in May.

Josh Hargis, with both legs amputated after an Oct. 6 suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan, told NBC News in an interview that aired Thursday night that he's doing well.

The Army Ranger, who has declined other media interview requests, told NBC's Harry Smith that he and his wife expect a child in May.

BAMC Public Affairs Chief Dewey Mitchell confirmed the information in the nationally televised report.

“His recovery continues at the Center for the Intrepid,” in the BAMC complex at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Mitchell said.

A photo of Hargis saluting from a hospital bed during a Purple Heart ceremony in Afghanistan went viral on the Internet. Witnesses said Hargis, 24, appeared to be unconscious when he raised his right arm to salute his regimental commander, despite bandages, tubes and other medical equipment around him.

Hargis told NBC that he “presented my salute as best that I could,” and has a brown paper bag filled with letters of support from people who wrote to him. The report, posted online, showed him doing exercises to improve his balance and core strength, and using parallel bars to stand and begin walking.

His wife told NBC she wants everyone to remember the U.S. troops still serving in Afghanistan.

Hargis was one of 11 U.S. troops wounded in an attack that killed four troops and a bomb-sniffing military working dog that he was handling.

“We're still asking this of our soldiers,” his wife told NBC.

Hargis, who is from Ohio, has a sister serving at Fort Sam Houston as a combat medic.
 

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