The Stars and Stripes, the Statue of Liberty and the majestic bald eagle are some of the most recognized symbols of the United States of America and freedom, evoking emotions of pride and patriotism at their sight. They’re also vehemently defended by our nation’s military, so when one of these symbols is harmed, defaced or tarnished in any manner, it isn’t just newsworthy, it’s also alarming, heartbreaking, and even a call to action.
That’s exactly what Army veteran Jason Galvin did when, just days before the Fourth of July holiday, he spotted a bald eagle in distress, so he took action.
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In tiny Rush City, Minnesota, Jason spotted the eagle dangling from a tree branch 70 feet in the air. The bird’s talon had become entangled in a short length of rope on a tree limb, basically tethering it to the tree. Attempting to fly away only threw the eagle off balance and into the precarious situation that Jason and his neighbors found it in.
When Jason, who had served two tours in Afghanistan, saw the ensnared animal, he followed what one would deem protocol, alerting authorities including the police, fire department and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). When no one was able to help due to jurisdictions and safety concerns, Jason asked if he could offer his assistance. Given permission, but admittedly nervous, he put his sharpshooting skills to use and the results are scary, heartwarming and amazing!
Jason began shooting at the branch. Shot after excruciating shot, battling the elements and the anxiety of aiming toward — but not at — our national bird, the Army vet carefully took shot after shot at the tree limb. Ninety minutes and 150 shots later, the bird and branch came crashing to the ground. Injured, but alive, the young eagle, named “Freedom,” was taken to a raptor center by the DNR where it is expected to make a full recovery.
The bald eagle, once on the endangered species list, now boasts a recovering population. The birds don’t develop a white head until around their fifth birthday, so it would appear that “Freedo,” still has some growing to do.
Jason Galvin, we salute you!