January 28, 2014

“FMPD S.W.A.T. Team Completes Josh Hargis Ranger Run”

On January 28, 2014 at 10 a.m., active and retired members of the Fort Myers Police Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics team (SWAT) completed “The Josh Hargis Ranger Run”. Originally S.W.A.T. Commander Lieutenant Jeffrey Bernice allotted 45-hours to complete the 222-mile endeavor. “As we worked into Monday we began to realize the challenge ahead of us just to meet the 45-hour mark. The members really came together and channeled Josh through his tomahawk that we carried and kicked it up a few notches”, said Lt. Jeff Bernice. “I’m very proud of everyone who participated and give sincere thanks to all of our supporters. It was a true honor to represent Ranger Corporal Josh Hargis.”

“The Josh Hargis Ranger Run” was completed two hours ahead of schedule with the final time at approximately 43-hours. As each member completed two miles Josh’s tomahawk was used to strike a piece of wood that will be provided to the wounded soldier as a token of gratitude for his sacrifices. At the completion of the 43rd and final hour S.W.A.T. team members were greeted by Josh’s father-in-law and retired FMPD Captain Scott Griffith. Captain “Griff”, as he was better known as during his FMPD days passed along heartfelt sentiments from Josh and his family.

If anyone would like to help as Josh Hargis and his family journey on the road to recovery please do so using the following methods:

If you would like to donate checks may be made payable to:

“Josh Hargis”
PO Box 768
Richmond Hill, GA 31324

Or visit website www.thewarriorswalk.com to make online donations

*Photographs taken and provided by Lt. Bill Musante

**Original Press Release Below**

January 23, 2014

“FMPD S.W.A.T. Team Runs for Ranger Josh Hargis”

On January 26, 2014 at 3 p.m., active and retired members of the Fort Myers Police Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics team (SWAT) will run to raise public awareness and financial support for Corporal Josh Hargis. Corporal Hargis was severely wounded losing both legs from the knee down in Southern Afghanistan on October 6, 2013, along with other members of the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. Hargis was transported to a military hospital where millions bore witness to Corporal Hargis’ “Salute Seen Around the World”. Members of the Hargis family will be walking 222 miles from Fort Stewart, Georgia to the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning, Georgia during the month of February to raise awareness during “The Warrior’s Walk.”

FMPD S.W.A.T. Commander Lieutenant Jeffrey Bernice is coordinating an event in Fort Myers that’s been dubbed, “The Josh Hargis Ranger Run.” Over a period of 45 hours active and retired FMPD S.W.A.T. members will attempt to cross the Edison Bridge 222 times to symbolize the 222 miles “The Warrior’s Walk” will accomplish. “We wanted to show our support here on a local level for Corporal Hargis and members of his family who are also part of our family at FMPD”, said Lieutenant Bernice. Josh’s wife Taylor is the daughter of retired FMPD Captain Scott Griffith and retired FMPD Detective Jennifer Ladelfa. Captain Griffith was also a former S.W.A.T. team member at FMPD.

Corporal Hargis has sent Lieutenant Bernice a tomahawk (picture attached) he carried in Afghanistan that will be carried in each of the 222 miles here in Fort Myers. One S.W.A.T. team member at a time will travel in 60 pounds of full tactical gear two miles (over the bridge and back) with tomahawk in hand before handing it off to the next runner. “Support and public awareness to the sacrifices of Corporal Hargis as well as all the men and women overseas is our ultimate goal”, said Lieutenant Bernice. Several of the active and retired members of FMPD’s S.W.A.T. team served in the Ranger Regiment like Corporal Hargis or have been awarded the Ranger Tab.

**Members of the media are encouraged to attend any of the 45 hours to support our event

Lieutenant Victor Medico
Public Information Officer
Fort Myers Police Department
2210 Widman Way
Fort Myers, Florida 33901
(239) 321-7748

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