Bald eagle named 'Freedom'? Check.
US army veteran? Check.
High-powered .22 calibre assault rifle with scope? Check.
All on 4 July? Yep, what we have here is the most 'murican of Independence Day stories.
This tale of flag wavin' n sharp shootin' began when US army veteran Jason Galvin left his cabin in Rush City, Minnesota, to pick up more supplies for his 4th July celebrations. En route, he spotted a majestic bald eagle hanging upside down from a tree at the end of his street, its foot apparently tangled in a length of four-inch rope.
Galvin's wife, Jackie, set about calling the sheriffs office, city hall, fire department and various environment groups in a bid to find someone to free the bird - but they reported that the bird had been stuck there for two and a half days. It was simply too high to rescue, and was almost certainly dead.
"I told them they were wrong and it was very much alive and somebody needed to help it immediately!" Jackie wrote in her Facebook report of the events. "They all said sorry but there was nothing they could do."
But Jackie thought differently. Filled with Fourth o' July pride, the Star Spangled Banner anthem blaring from her pickup's radio (probably), Jackie told Jason there was only one thing for it - he would have to shoot the bird free. Presumably with this song rattling around his head.
Jason gained permission from the local department of natural resources, borrowed his neighbour's rifle ("as it had a better scope than Jason's") and took aim at the twisted length of rope trapping the poor bird. An hour and a half - and 150 bullets later - he severed the rope, allowing the eagle to fall into the trees below, whereupon it was rescued and taken to the local raptor centre to be cared for by a vet (as in veterinary, not another former soldier).
"We named the eagle Freedom and hope to be able to release him near his home once he is back to health!" wrote Jackie. "What an amazing hero, my Army Veteran saving an eagle on 4th of July Weekend!"
If you need us, we'll be letting off fireworks, reving a monster truck and listening to the following on the largest stereo money can buy.
(Image: Jackie Gervais Galvin)