Staff Sergeant Daryl Casey is on his third deployment to the Middle East with the Kentucky Army National Guard, but this time he has a companion
“When we first got here, we were just getting settled in and there was a mama cat who was kind of hanging around our area
Not too long after we got in and got settled in, she had kittens. The soldiers have been having fun with all of them, but one of them was special.” Sgt. Casey said.
Casey continues, “One of the particular little kittens, he and I just kind of bonded. He’s see me coming in and he’d come running up to me and rub against my legs. I’d sit down and he’d jump in my lap. When everybody sees him walking around, they go ‘Hey there’s Daryl’s cat!’ They always say, ‘Hey are you looking for your daddy? He’s right over there!’.”
Sgt. Casey named the cat Stanley and Stanley made a big difference in this soldier’s life during the holidays and other times when he was feeling alone.
“Christmas and Thanksgiving were, for me, really tough. Those are big family gatherings and I was sitting at work feeling kind of blue and somebody opens the door and here comes Stanley into the office. He kind of looks at me and jumps up in my lap. You can kind of see from those pictures he just kind of lays up beside me like ‘Hey man, it’s going to be ok. I’m here’,” Sgt. Casey said.
Sgt. Casey’s friends and family back home even heard about it and started sending him cat toys and treats.
“We had some catnip mice that people had sent and those cats went crazy for that!” he said.
Sgt. Casey will soon be heading back to Kentucky and he couldn’t stand the thought of not bringing Stanley with him, his trusted and loyal companion. An organization called Nowzad that specializes in helping troops get animals they’ve adopted from Afghanistan back to the states has agreed to help Sgt. Casey get Stanley to Frankfort.
“Getting home will be an absolutely joyful event but just to see that little cat’s smiling face when I come in the house, that’s just going to be something. I can’t wait for it,” Sgt. Casey said.
It will cost about $1,300 to get Stanley medically cleared, then flown to Atlanta from Frankfort. A fundraising website has been created, and he hopes one way or another, he’ll get Stanley home.
“People say you’re saving this cat’s life and I’m like, well, in a way he’s kind of saved me just by being there for me,” Sgt. Casey said.