Trust the U.S. Army to come to the rescue of the symbol of American independence, when a veteran, drawing on his military training and steady hands, saved an icon on the 4th of July weekend.

Army veteran Jason Galvin and his wife, Jackie, were up at their cabin near Rush City, Minnesota when she spotted an eagle hanging from a tree.

The eagle had apparently become entangled in a rope and hung upside down 75 feet off the ground – possibly for as long as two days.

The couple contacted officials for help, calling the county sheriff’s office, fire department, and City Hall, but Jackie says the responses were all the same.

“They said it had been there for 2 1/2 days and that there was nothing they could do, that the eagle had died and the movement we saw was only the wind. I told them they were wrong and it was very much alive and somebody needed to help it immediately!”

When even a call to the University of Minnesota Raptor Center failed to bring help, it became obvious to the couple that they had no choice but to take action.

“I told Jason he had to shoot it free! He was nervous as he didn't want to get in trouble for shooting at an eagle but I know with his sharp shooter skills that if anyone would save this eagle it was him!”

Galvin was nervous, fearing he might hit the helpless bird, but his sharpshooter training kicked in as he borrowed a neighbor’s .22-caliber rifle with a scope and fired off 150 shots in windy conditions during a tense 90-minutes.

When the rope was finally severed, the eagle fell and was wrapped in a blanket by the Galvins who took it to the university raptor center that had refused to come to the rescue.

The U.S. Army had trained Galvin well – the eagle, now named “Freedom,” was not hit by the gunfire and the Galvins hope he will be released near their cabin once he is fully recovered.

The eagle was chosen as the symbol of America in 1782 just a few years after independence, because of its attributes – imposing appearance and long lifespan.

 

 

 

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