We live in a free society — but as we all know, freedom is not “free”. With an all-volunteer military force, we rely on young patriots to “answer the call”. Young Jessie Fletcher is one of the many who answered that call in 2008, when he joined the Marines and left for Basic Training just four short days after graduating from high school.
Jessie excelled in his military training, and shortly after being stationed at Camp Lajeune, he was selected to join the Scout Sniper Platoon. In late 2009, Jessie’s unit was deployed to Afghanistan, where they participated in a large, intense joint operation to remove the Taliban from the Helmand Valley.
Upon return from deployment, Jessie had the opportunity to attend the Marine Corps Ball — a magnificent event celebrated by all Marines, but made even more special for Jessie, as it was at this event that he met his future wife, Emily.
Jessie’s unit deployed to Afghanistan once again in the summer of 2011. On October 17, 2011, Scout Sniper Team leader Corporal Jessie Fletcher was on a mission to provide over-watch and security for advancing units around the district, when he stepped on an improvised explosive device. The blast caused severe injuries, including the loss of both legs above the knee and several of his fingers.
Throughout the long months of recovery at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Emily was at Jessie’s side, supporting him both physically and emotionally. After his medical retirement from the Marine Corps in December of 2012, Jessie and Emily moved to North Carolina, where they enjoy the support of Emily’s extended family. Jessie and Emily were married shortly after their return to North Carolina, and Jessie is now enrolled at Salem College, pursuing a degree in Business Administration
A handicapped accessible home was necessary to allow Jessie to navigate without the barriers of a typical house, and the attendant costs of such modifications, including a roll-in shower, roll-under sinks, lowered counter tops, and wider door frames, make the cost of construction significantly higher.
Nine Line Foundation stepped forward to assist in fundraising to provide the handicapped accessible items for the home, and thanks to your help, the Fletchers moved in to a home that is appropriate to Jessie’s needs in 2016.