The horrors a soldier has to see and endure during their life on the front line are things we can only imagine. For many that are lucky enough to come home, they struggle to get those horrors out of their heads.
When Josh Marino returned from his tour to Baghdad, he didn’t realize that he was suffering with PTSD, or post traumatic stress disorder.
These are the scars that thousands of soldiers have to live with but the outside world cannot see. Sometimes the symptoms aren’t recognized by the individual so go untreated.
When Josh decides that the mental torture he had to endure was too much to bear, he decided to end it all. Just before he is disturbed by the sight of something he will never forget. A sight that ended up saving him.
Josh recalls the days of being on the battle field: “One day there was a mortar attack and mortar exploded no more than ten feet to my right. I suffered traumatic brain injury and suffered post traumatic stress disorder. A lot of us come home without realizing that we are bringing the war home with us. In a lot of cases, it’s an invisible wound that no one can see.”
Army Sgt. Josh Marino was left permanently scarred from his service in the military. He decided to take his own life, but as he was smoking his last cigarette, he heard something in the bushes.
When the mental scars of war became too much, Josh decided he couldn’t go on, “I took out one of my knives, set it to the side. I wrote a letter up on my computer and set it there on the desktop.”
When Josh stepped outside in the rain and smoked his last cigarette, a sound distracted him.
From outside of the barracks at Fort Riley in Kansas the soldier heard the meow of a tiny black and white kitten who emerged from the bushes.
“He just walked up and started rubbing up against my leg and let me pet him, I broke down crying, burst into tears,” he says in his short film Josh & Scout, a Mutual Rescue. “Maybe he knew there was something I couldn’t quite handle.”
“I stopped thinking about all my problems and started thinking about his problems and what I could do to help him,” Josh said.
Heartbroken to lose Scout
He named the kitten “Scout” and began to feed him every day. Josh credits this kitten with saving his life but, one day Scout stopped showing up and Josh was a little heartbroken.
Josh continued with his life, missing Scout, but eventually, he started dating a girl and they decided to go to an adoption event and adopt a cat since Scout had such a positive impact on Josh’s life.
Little did Josh know who he was going to find at the adoption event.
“All of a sudden a little black and white paw shoots out from a crate and starts smacking me in my left arm,” he says when he saw Scout at the shelter. “I opened up that cage, and I pulled him out, and I held him tight.”
Josh immediately signed the papers to adopt Scout. Adopting this sweet kitten who saved Josh’s life, made him want to improve himself. He started eating better, exercising and he even quit smoking.
He was eventually medically discharged from the Army, married his girlfriend Becky, earned a master’s degree in clinical rehabilitation and mental health counseling, and got a job with the Department of Veteran Affairs counseling disabled vets.
Just from this chance encounter with a kitten Josh didn’t go through with ending his life and now helps other veterans going through the same problems he had. Who knows how many lives Josh has saved through his work..
Find out more about Josh and Scout’s amazing story in the video below.
It really is extraordinary how much animals can do for humans. To think that this young man who sacrificed his life to help keep our country safe would end up trying to take his own life is a terrible tragedy. Thank goodness for the healing power of animals.
Please share this amazing story of hope and happiness with your friends and family.