Man Has Final Cigarette And Decides To Take His Life

Man Has Final Cigarette And Decides To Take His Life, Then He Sees Movement In The Bushes

by FaithTap Staff 6/17/2017

Life of a soldier is something that is not easy to understand unless you have been in the exact same shoes yourself. Hundreds of men and women each year dedicate their life to protect the American people and in the process go through experiences that can sometimes break their spirit and change their lives forever.

Josh Marino, is one such soldier who is proud to have served in the U.S. Military, however, after returning from his tour to Baghdad, Josh came back dispirited and uncertain of what life held next. Little did Josh know but he was amongst hundreds of other vets suffering with PTSD, or post traumatic stress disorder.

A wound that can be seen is easy to sympathize with and heal, however, in Josh’s case, his mental state was hard for others to see and thus went unnoticed and unaided.

Josh remembers thinking back to those horrific days:

“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.”

When focusing on normal day to day life became harder and harder, Josh decided one night that he had had enough:

“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.”

Then Josh stepped outside in the rain and smoked his last cigarette. In that overwhelming moment of pain, fear, and hopelessness, something unusual caught his eye in the bushes nearby.

Screenshot via YouTube

A little black kitten jumped out and approached Josh:

“He just walked up and started rubbing against my leg and let me pet him. I broke down crying, burst into tears. Maybe he knew there was something I couldn’t quite handle.”

The kitten provided just the right amount of distraction at the right time, and instead of thinking about how he was going to end his life, Josh started thinking of what he could do to help the stray get out of the rain. Since that night, Josh got in the habit of going in the backyard everyday and taking food for the kitten and even letting him nap on his lap.

Even though the kitten was still a stray, he now had a name, Scout. This small gesture ended up giving Josh a purpose and restored his faith in being able to help others. Eventually, the kitten even enabled him to be confident and mentally strong enough to be in a relationship.

Screenshot via YouTube

While Josh’s life story had taken a turn for the better, a few months later, Scout was no where to be found. Despite of calling his name several times, Josh noticed that the cat was no where in his backyard. It certainly was a sad turn of events.

Josh couldn’t shake off the memories of Scout, and so a few more months later, he and his girlfriend headed to the adoption center at Fort Riley Stray Animal Shelter, hoping they could get a permanent pet to join their little family. What he saw there seemed like another miracle. Josh recalls:

“All of a sudden a little black and white paw shoots out from a crate and starts smacking me in my left arm. I looked inside, it is the same little black and white cat. I opened up that cage, and I pulled him out, and I held him tight.”

Scout and Josh were officially reunited against all odds! What followed next was a life where Josh exercised more, ate healthy, quit smoking, and even went back to school for a Masters degree in counseling which he used to find work helping other vets. He described it as a proud moment where he still served his country wearing a different uniform.

To the say least, Josh’s life was thriving. Even if it seemed silly to give a small feline all the credit, that’s what had made it all possible.

Here is the must watch video of Josh’s journey and his life saving cat, Scout!

After many years of happily being together with Scout, a sense of loss came over Josh once more when Scout took ill and eventually passed away in Josh’s arms while on the car ride to the vet. For Josh, the memory, of Scout will forever be close to his heart.

“Even before he was my cat, even before he knew me that well, he saved my life!”

The morning after, when Josh claimed to have stepped outside to smoke his last cigarette, would have looked so different without Scout. Thanks to his little encounter with a stray kitten that night, Josh is able to live his life today helping others and finding happiness in his own life!

Sources: Gladwire, Image Source: YouTube/Mutual Rescue. Image source: Flickr/MICOLO J Thanx

Why Did We Name It 22KILL?

“Kill – to deprive of life in any manner; cause the death of; slay.”

If we can take a word that has a common meaning associated with death, and turn it into something that ultimately evokes feelings of positivity, community, and life, then we can do anything.  We can remove the stigma and any negative undertones that accompany the term “veteran”, giving the word it’s honor back without stigma.

One of our objectives is to break negative stereotypes among the veteran community.  We strive to break away from inaccurate judgments from negative labels and connotations.

We took it as personal challenge to show the world that words/labels are just that – words.  Words and labels are empowered by the audience and how they are perceived.  Perception is influenced by the foundation of the one’s previous education and experiences; and this influence causes biased judgement. Whether these judgments are accurate or inaccurate, negative or positive, our argument is that there is always more to the story.

Humans are walking miracles who, contrary to some belief, are all unique in their own way. Regardless of profession, military service, race, social status, or income, every person is an individual and has true greatness within them.  By defining a person by his or her profession or military experiences, we are hindering that person’s ability to flow creatively without fear of judgments laid upon them from societal expectations.

22KILL works with veterans from all military branches, but the foundation of many of our principles, values, and lingo is derived from the Marine Corps.  The founder of 22KILL is a Marine veteran and the genesis behind the creation of 22KILL was from how he found personal success after transitioning off of active duty and into the civilian world.

In the Marines, the term “kill” has multiple meanings.

Marines use it in place of a proper greeting to each other and even higher ranking authorities.

A sergeant may pass a captain and salute him complemented with a, “Kill, sir.”  The officer would then respond, “Kill!”

Marines also use the term as a call of motivation.

While running towards anything from the chow hall to formation, to attacking a hill, Marines may yell out, “Kill!”

The term also can be used in conversation as a form of acknowledgement or confirmation.

One Marine says to the other, “You’re going to want to bypass the H1 highway because there is a wreck….”  And the other Marine would answer while nodding his head, “Kill….kill.”

It can also be used in a form of a question with the proper inflection in the voice.

One Marine may say, “So I broke up with Susie while on leave.”  The other Marine may respond, “Kill?”

It basically means whatever the situation calls for.  Amongst Marines, it’s a term of endearment.

This is the irony in the name 22KILL.  Although the name may be first perceived as aggressive and negative in nature, when learning more about the campaign, it’s mission, and people involved, you find out very fast that there is always more to the story.  22KILL has more depth, veterans have more depth, and all people as individuals have depth.  We strive more every day, and challenge everyone, to look past the superficiality of labels and ask more questions.  Learn about people as individuals and not by labels.