It was a moment that would change both of their lives forever. Master Sergeant Mike Maroney brought terrified toddler LaShay Brown to safety and held her in his arms in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Brown, then just three years old, had been caught up in the hurricane’s destructive path at her home in New Orleans.
And Brown and her family could have faced death had it not been for the actions of the brave air rescuer. After all, Hurricane Katrina destroyed lives across New Orleans when it struck the city in 2005. And in the hours before the tropical storm, city officials seemed to know how hard it would hit when they issued a mandatory evacuation order. Most of the city’s residents were then forced to flee to escape the devastation.