Social media explodes to help vet find girl he rescued during Katrina
SAN ANTONIO - Air Force veteran Mike Maroney is taking his overnight sensation in stride, and hoping it will help him find the child he plucked off the roof of a house in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
Monday, his story began circulating on the Internet. By Tuesday evening, it was a national push to reunite the pair. The effort lives on Twitter with hashtags #findkatrinagirl and #findkatrinakid.
"I don't think words will capture what I'm feeling or what I want to say, so, I think a hug will do it," Maroney told ABC News about the feeling he might have if he meets the girl again. He spoke with the network in an interview that was first aired on World News Tonight Tuesday then shared with ABC stations.
Of the hug that was captured by a military photographer - the only visual reminder he has of the child - Maroney said, "she just wrapped me up in that big hug and, you know, it all disappeared. I wasn't even in New Orleans. I don't know if I was on the planet at the time. I was just in that hug."
"I've thought about her and her family every day; I just want to let her know how much she's inspired me and to see how she's doing," he said.