Josh Marino was honored to wear the uniform of the United States military. He heroically served his country overseas. Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with PTSD after being deployed in Baghdad. He sunk into a deep depression and contemplated ending it all, until he heard a noise, in the middle of a storm, come from the bushes.
Meet Sergeant Josh Marino
Pittsburgh native, Josh Marino was serving in the U.S. military when he was deployed to southwest Baghdad. While one duty, there was a mortar explosion within 10 feet of him. He sustained a traumatic brain injury and was diagnosed with PTSD. He was sent back to the U.S. to recover. He told Mutual Rescue he had an “invisible wound no one can see”, so it was hard for other wounded soldiers to understand his situation. One night, he couldn’t take it anymore and pulled out his knife and left a note on his desktop.
That fateful night, it was pouring. He walked out the back door of the barracks and began smoking what Josh believed would be his last cigarette. Then, he heard a noise and saw something walk out of the bushes. It was a small black and white kitten. The kitten approached Josh and let him pet it. Josh began to cry. Josh stopped thinking about his problems and began thinking about this little kitten’s problems.
How Could He Help This Kitten?
Josh wonder how he could help this little kitten? Josh decided everyday he would bring out a paper plate and a packet of tuna. The kitten soon began recognizing his voice, and would answer his call. The kitten would eat and then cuddle with Josh. Sadly, one day, he called the for kitten. But, the kitten never appeared. Josh was devastated.
Taught Him How To Love
Josh told Mutual Rescue that this tiny kitten “helped me realize I could care for someone else and that other people could care for me.” This relationship gave him the confidence to start looking for other connections. Soon after, he began dating a girl from his high school, Becky. One day, Becky and Josh went to an adopt-a-thon. As they were walking amongst the cages, a little black and white paw reached out and began smacking Josh. Josh looked in the crate and saw that tiny kitten. He was overjoyed and immediately signed the adoption papers. Josh named the kitten Scout.
He Rescued Me
A year later, Josh married Becky (and her 3 cats). Along with Scout, they were now one big happy family. With the support system he needed (even if that included a cat), Josh was able to rebuild his life. He went back to school, quit smoking, and began working with other vets. One day, Scout did not greet Josh at the door like he normally did. After a visit to the vet, Scout was diagnosed with feline leukemia. He died two weeks later, in Josh’s arms. When speaking about Scout, Josh said “Before he even knew me, he saved my life. He put me on a different path. I don’t go a single day without thinking about him.”