Josh Hargis, 24, has come a long way since October when he astounded onlookers by saluting from his hospital bed during his Purple Heart ceremony. His hand was heavily bandaged, and he was connected to breathing tubes, but he managed it.
Now, Hargis is walking on prosthetic legs and expecting his first baby with his wife, Taylor Hargis, in May.
“Without question there is a lot going on in their lives and this is only the beginning of a series of adversities that they will have to overcome,” Taylor Hargis’s brother Patrick Griffith posted on the fundraising website he started for the couple.
Griffith, Taylor Hargis’s older brother, organized “Warrior’s Walk,” a 222-mile walk from Fort Stewart to Fort Benning, Ga., to raise funds and support for the Hargis family.
The walk kicked off Feb. 17 with 20 miles, and will continue with another 17 miles today, said Griffith Hargis, 27, a sergeant on the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team at Fort Stewart. Josh and Taylor Hargis will join in for the final four miles of the walk, he said.
Josh Hargis, of Cincinnati, was stationed in Afghanistan as part of the 3rd Army Ranger Battalion on Oct. 6 when a suicide bomber detonated her vest, according ABC’s Cincinnati affiliate WCPO. It took two hours to get him to the hospital at the military base, where he endured several surgeries.
When soldiers surrounded Josh Hargis’s hospital bed to pin the Purple Heart to his blanket, they assumed he was unconscious, according to WCPO, but he raised his hand in salute. Taylor Hargis posted the now famous photo and a letter from his commander to her Facebook page.
Although Josh Hargis has made considerable progress, Griffith knows his sister and her husband are about to embark on tough times financially with a new baby and prosthetic expenses to worry about.
Although Griffith hadn’t tallied the total amount of funds raised for his sister and her husband, he told ABCNews.com that Josh Hargis has already received a hand-cycle and an all-terrain wheelchair from generous donors.
“Though we can’t change what has happened, we can change their future,” Griffith wrote on the Warrior’s Walk website.