In 2015, Air Force Master Sgt. Mike Maroney launched a social media campaign to track down a girl he rescued during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 The girl was 3 at the time. He didn’t know her name or where she lived but had spent the 10 years since Katrina carrying a photo of the two of them together that was taken the day he rescued her and her family.
Fueled by the hashtag #FindKatrinaGirl and hundreds of news reports, Maroney finally found LaShay Brown in Waveland, Mississipi. In the year and a half since, the “Katrina Girl” and the man who saved her have formed an unexpected friendship. Maroney visited LaShay in Mississippi and taught the teen to swim, reported People. LaShay went to a San Antonio Spurs game with Maroney in Texas. Once a week, the two talk on the phone.
In a Mississippi community center Saturday night, dozens of teenagers attended the Bay High School military ball. It’s an annual event hosted by the Air Force’s local Junior ROTC chapter. Among them was 14-year-old LaShay Brown. Her date was Sgt. Maroney.