Military Matters: North Country Native, "Warrior of the Week"
The north country has strong ties to the Army because of Fort Drum. So it is no surprise that many of us have never heard of Airman First Class Molly Fletchall's job.
The Ogdensburg native is an Air Force "Knowledge Operator Journeyman" assigned to the 22nd Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron from the 721st Mission Support Group out of Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado.
She has been deployed to the Transit Center at Manas in northern Kyrgystan for the past five months.
"My day to day job is making sure that Air medals are correct for commanders to sign off so people can get promoted and get their medals," explained Fletchall.
Also among her duties: setting up email accounts for new arrivals, processing mail, and coordinating the flying of flags over Afghanistan.
"People that are here will get flags flown and I'll do a certificate for them and they'll send it back home to their loved ones," she said.
For A1C Fletchall, it's an honor to have the opportunity to do that.
She joined the Air Force three years ago to travel and to get an education.
"I love my country and I was ready," she said. "I wanted to wear this uniform since I was little."
"I think everyone should probably serve their country at some time in their life - male or female," she added.
But, for females who wear the Air Force uniform - when the vast majority of military members are men - Fletchall says there's a lot of added pressure.
"You always have to be on your game, doing better, working out harder than them," she said.
And, she says, women are rarely recognized for their contributions.
That just made her all the more proud when she was recently named the Transit Center's "Warrior of the Week".
The award is given based on "outstanding performance, good conduct, work ethic, and most importantly, a job well done," according to the Transit Center at Manas website.
"I was so happy because, I mean, my commander wrote a letter back home to my mom and dad," Fletchall said.
News of Fletchall's award quickly spread to others in the north country community, especially after it was posted on Facebook.
"I had probably like 30 people say how proud they are of me, and some of it was people I don't even know. So that was nice," she said.
The "Warrior of the Week" honor also reinforced Fletchall's own pride in her service.
"It made me feel like i've actually accomplished something while I'm here," she said.
Fletchall will be in Kyrgystan for about one more month before her deployment ends and she heads back to Peterson Air Force Base. After that, she hopes to move on to Korea.
But her heart is always in her childhood home.
"I love the north country and I'll definitely be back there," she said. "But I love the military and I love serving my country, so where ever that takes me is where I plan to go."
It is that kind of attitude and dedication to duty that earned Airman First Class Molly Fletchall the title "Warrior of the Week".
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