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Mike Maroney is an Air Force pararescue jumper. After returning from a disastrous rescue mission in Afghanistan in September 2005, he was immediately asked to report to New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Although Mike thought it was a hopeless task as he didn’t know how many actually survived the catastrophe, still, he and his team spent a week around the city descending from one rooftop to another, saving stranded residents.
One of the most unforgettable experiences he had was when he met an adorable 3-year-old girl. Upon seeing him, she immediately greeted Mike with a big hug. The soldier said that the hug “recharged me and gave me a little bit of a silver lining and some hope that kept me going through rough times.”
Now Mike works as an Air Force reservist, teaching other individuals how to become pararescue jumpers in San Antonio, Texas.
Since then, Mike has been searching for the name of the little girl. And now he’s finally found her.
The young girl’s name is LeShay Brown, and she’s now 13-years-old. She currently resides in Waveland, Mississippi, with her family. Soon, Mike and LeShay will be reuniting.
“I can’t wait to meet her to tell her how important she is,” he said.
“In my line of work, it doesn’t usually turn out happily. This hug, this moment, was like everybody I’ve ever saved, that was the thank you,” he added.