LaShay Brown, who was saved by Master Sergeant Mike Maroney of the U.S. Air Force, is taking her rescuer to her JORTC Ball!
But Maroney and LaShay didn’t end their newfound bond there. Since that day, the former pararescuer has visited the Brown family in Mississippi (even teaching LaShay how to swim), and has spoken to LaShay on the phone weekly.
Maroney’s encouragement has been so important to LaShay that she decided to join the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps or (JROTC), a pre-training program sponsored by the United States Armed Forces at Bay High School in Waveland, Mississippi.
Of her decision to join JROTC, LaShay tells PEOPLE: “It was very interesting and a challenge, and because I had never done it before. I knew if I joined I would have help from Mike along the way if I needed it, or was confused about anything.”