The Subject of war and soldiers fighting can be a polarising subject and is also filled with murky shades of grey making it hard to come to a confident conclusion. There are definitely some large positive aspects to the soldier's life. The skills soldiers learn are invaluable; from fitness and health to strategy and management. Not to mention the discipline instilled during training is a true asset in life. However, there are darker sinister results too. Post-traumatic stress disorder being all too common and an extremely horrific issue.
Army Sgt. Josh Marino was left permanently scarred from time spent in service of his country. Not only was he left battling with severe post-traumatic stress disorder due to the things he witnessed but also suffered a brain injury during his tour in Iraq.
A Grave Decision
These issues in Marino's life were so great and weighed on him so heavily that he began to contemplate the darkness of his experiences and became consumed by them. his experiences and his situation haunted him. Many join the armed forces to represent their country and make the world better.
The Murky Truth
The truth of the matter is not clear cut. The issues are far more complex than good and bad or terrorist and hero. Necessary or not violence is confronting, and enacting the violence can be soul-destroying. Marino had become disconnected from his helpful nature.
A Fateful Day
Josh decided that he couldn't deal with the emotional strain that plagued him constantly. He decided to end it, to end everything. He said "I did not want to deal with it anymore", "I took out one of my knives... I wrote a letter on my computer..."
A Final Smoke
"and went outside to smoke one last cigarette." but by chance of something out there had other plans for Marino that day. That's when he heard it. Outside Fort Riley in Kansas he heard a rustling in the bush that would change everything.
A Surprise Life Saver
He then heard a soft "meow" sound coming from the bush. What emerged from the bushes was a tiny black and white kitten. "He just walked up and started rubbing up against me and let me pet him..." Recounted Josh.
A Touching Moment
This moment had a gigantic impact on Marino "... I broke down crying, burst into tears. Maybe he knew there was something I couldn't quite handle." He says in his short film about his heroic feline 'Josh & Scout, a Mutual rescue'.
Marino unreservedly credits the kitten and this moment with saving his life. What the kitten did for Josh in this moment was momentous. The kitten simultaneous gave him distraction and an unquestionable purpose of good. Not to mention the magical cuteness of a kitten.
A Shift of Focus
Josh would have spent a large amount of time focussing on himself and his situation. "I stopped thinking about his problems and what I could do to help him," Marino said. But now his focus was moved from his situation to another in need he could help.
The Mutual Rescue
He named the kitten "Scout", Scout helped Josh to realise that he could still do good and help others and also that he could let others help him. Josh began to care for Scout, feeding and meeting him every day.
A Small Heart Break
One day tragedy struck and Scout stopped showing up. Marino was a little heartbroken back kept the lesson Scout had taught him close to his heart. His life had began to take a positive direction and he began dating a girl.
Josh and his girlfriend, in order to honour the impact on Scout on Josh's life, decided to go to a pet adoption day. Walking through the adoption centre "All of a sudden a little black and white paw reaches out from a crate smacking me in my left arm."
Meant to Be
"I opened up that cage, and I pulled him out, and I held him tight." Marino signed papers and adopted Scout right there and then. Josh said that Scout was a positive influence on him, making him want to better himself.
Josh started to improve his diet, exercise more, and even quit smoking. His life continued to improve and he was eventually medically discharged from the military and was able to build his life, leaving those horrifying experiences in the past.
A Bright Future
He decided to marry his girlfriend, Becky and earned a master degree in clinical rehabilitation and mental health counselling, and got a job with the Department of Veteran counselling disabled veterans. Using his experience to help others. He tells his and Scout's story to help others.
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