“A lot of us come home without realizing we are bringing the war home with us”, says Josh Marino, a veteran of the Iraq war who suffered the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder to such an extent that it drove him right to the brink of suicide.

“I didn’t want to deal with it anymore”, Marino said. He wrote up a goodbye note, grabbed a knife and went outside for a final cigarette in the rain. But then, from the deepest depths of despair came hope. Meowing out of the bushes next to him came a stray black and white kitten which, according to Marino, “just walked up and started rubbing up against my leg and let me pet him. I broke down crying, I burst into tears.”

He found a new purpose in life through the friendly feline, who he named Scout, and who he credits with saving his life. “I stopped thinking about all my problems, and started thinking about all his problems, and what I could do to help him,” Marino said. The bond between them was instant, but that wasn’t the end of the story.

Josh Marino has made a video testimony of his and Scout’s remarkable story of healing and heartbreak which you can watch below. The video was made for the Mutual Rescue organization, which is dedicated to showing how animals can help humans through tough times, as well as humans can help them. It is a beautiful story that is sure to tug at your heart strings, showing just how powerful the bond between humans and animals can be.