(FOX NEWS) - An Air Force enlistee who worked as a pararescue jumper in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina is reuniting with the little girl he hugged in a now-iconic photograph to a Junior ROTC ball.
The photo captured a smiling 3-year-old LaShay Brown hugging Master Sgt. Mike Maroney after his team plucked the girl and her family to safety in a helicopter in the aftermath of the 2005 disaster.
Over the years he desperately tried to find her. They were reunited on a TV talk show in 2015.
LaShay, now 14, plans to bring Maroney to the JROTC ball Saturday, Fox 8 New Orleans reports. According to LaShay, Maroney inspired her to join her high school’s JROTC program.
“I’m going because I would do anything to repay the hug to LaShay and her family,” Maroney told People, according to the station. “They mean as much to me as my own.”
Maroney posted a recent photo of him and LaShay to Instagram, noting how excited he was to see her.
Tomorrow on the Ides of March we are having SuckFest 2017 0900 Warhawk Gym 1100 Skylark Pool 1200 Ft Sam Outdoor Pool Come join us Bring your water water gear running gear and a smile So this picture is from my last trip to see LaShay But guess what, were going this weekend to her JROTC Ball with her in Waveland MS We're very excited! !! Hope all is well for you