After Marino suffered a brain injury in Iraq, he had severe post-traumatic stress disorder. He was in so much mental pain that he decided to take his own life.
“I did not want to deal with it anymore,” Marino said. “I took out one of my knives … I wrote a letter on my computer and went outside to smoke one last cigarette.”
While he was outside of the barracks at Fort Riley in Kansas something happened that would change his life; a kitten!
“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.”
Marino now credits the kitten with saving his life.
“I stopped thinking about all my problems and started thinking about his problems and what I could do to help him,” Marino said
He named the kitten “Scout” and began to feed him every day, until one day Scout stopped showing up and Marino was heartbroken. Eventually, he began dating a girl and they decided to go to an adoption event and adopt a cat.
“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 of spotting Scout at the shelter. “I opened up that cage, and I pulled him out, and I held him tight.”
Marino signed the papers to adopt Scout right away and was eventually medically discharged from the Army. He 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. He now tells his story about him and Scout to other vets.
“In my opinion, real men like cats,” he said.
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