Video by Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Jen S. Martinez
Story by Airman 1st Class Sydney Campbell
Captain the Cat is a feline friend and the first mascot for Barksdale’s Honor Guard – the unit in charge of performing funeral honors for active duty, retirees and veterans within the area.
“Captain has two purposes, she is a morale booster and she fights what we call the War on MISIS,” said Tech. Sgt. Brandon Henry, Barksdale Honor Guard’s NCO-in-charge.
“It’s a play on words for the war on ISIS and her efforts in mice deterrence. MISIS actually stands for Mouse Independent Society of Interior Structures.”
As much as she chases mice, she also helps airmen unwind, both Honor Guard airmen and other people that know about her.
“It can be difficult for these airmen to deal with death all the time, but Captain helps lighten the mood and strengthens a sense of family within the team,” said Henry.
“Everyone comes to visit her. Past honor guardsmen, people that find out about her, even the airmen that live in the dorms and can’t have pets; they all just stop by and pet her.”
Captain was originally petitioned as pest control.
Henry said that trying to get a cat was like asking mom and dad for a pet. He explained to his command how useful it would be and how Hoban Hall would benefit from it.
When it was approved, she was rescued from the local Bossier City Animal Control and received all of her vaccinations and a tracking chip from the vet clinic on base.
To the honor guard airmen, Captain has proven to be the support they need. When a group of Airmen return from a detail late at night, Captain is there to welcome and console them.
“Captain is a really good cat, and I don’t even like cats,” said Senior Airman Trey McClain, 2nd Medical Group diagnostic imaging technician and Honor Guard Airman.
“I tried to hate her, but it was impossible. She is here for everybody and we enjoy seeing her around.”
Just like with a high school mascot, Captain builds morale.
“Captain is here and is a great morale booster,” said McClain.
“She keeps us company and helps us to de-stress. She is our mascot, I don’t know what honor guard life would be like without her.”
- This article first appeared on barksdale.af.mil in 2017. It has been updated for style, brevity and accuracy.
- This video first appeared on defense.gov.
More from the USO
Jul 18, 2019
50 Years after Apollo 11 Moon Landing, Army Doctor Takes 'Giant Leap' to Space
Fifty years after Neil Armstrong said, "One small leap for man, one giant leap for mankind," during the historic Apollo 11 moon landing, one U.S. Special Forces battalion surgeon will take the next giant leap into space.
Jul 17, 2019
During Deployments, Military Families Get a Night Off of Dinner Duty with USO Spangdahlem in Germany
Deployments can change everything in a military family's life. But research says the best thing military spouses can do to cope with partner’s absence is to reach out to military support organizations, like the USO, to help alleviate some of the small stressors in their life, like cooking dinner.
Jul 16, 2019
After Boot Camp, Hurricane Maria and Learning English, Puerto Rican Coast Guardsmen Builds a Career With the USCG
Seaman Rafael Omar Gomez Negron, a young, Spanish-speaking Coast Guardsmen from Puerto Rico, joined the military just before Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria devastated his island. From fearing the health of his family while enduring basic training to diligently learning English to advance his military career, this new Coastie, who now lives in Washington, D.C., is a determined member of the force.