Cpl (Ret.) Jessie Fletcher, USMC
Jessie was born in Syracause, NY and his hometown is now Watertown, NY. He’s lived there for 13 years and attended Indian River High School. His hobbies were skateboarding, playing guitar and running. He enlisted in the Marines immediately following graduation in June 2008.
Jessie went to boot camp and stood on the yellow footprints at Paris Island with 2nd Battalion Charlie co. He graduated and was then stationed at Camp Giger, where he became an infantryman. There he graduated as an 0311 and was sent to 3rd Platoon Charlie co., 1st Battalion 6th Marines, 2nd Marine division Camp Lejune.
He left July 16th, 2011 for his second deployment to Afghanistan. CPL Fletcher did several missions throughout Helmand province’s poppy fields and mountains. 1/6 received its mission to go to Kajaki and Fletcher was in the sniper platoon attached to the forward most company. The push to Kajak was the Taliban’s final stand and the final assault for U.S. and coalition forces. CPL Fletcher’s last mission was considered a suicide mission. Although Intelligence suggested it was heavily mined and believed to have many IEDs, the team climbed and captured the plateau as ordered from the battalion. Once they reached the top, they realized it required heavy rear security.
As Cpl Fletcher was escorting a Marine to his position to watch their rear, he stepped on a non-metallic pressure plate. As a result, he lost both legs above the knee and several fingers. His corpsman attached four tourniquets and applied two shots of morphine within minutes. As all this was happening, in under three minutes, his radio operator called in the fastest CAS 9-line in the AO. Meanwhile, Cpl Fletcher was conscious and communicating with his team. The Medevac helicopter came in without an armed escort into a hot LZ and as the bird landed, without regard for their personal safety, his team and everyone on the bird loaded him up and rushed him to safety.
After several surgeries, blood transfusion, and many hours of physical therapy, Cpl Fletcher is finally regaining some of his independence. He’s excited and motivated to attend college somewhere and start living his new normal. Surviving this accident has been an inspiration to him. He survived an IED and still has his whole life ahead of him and he can accomplish anything he sets his mind to.