A year after being wounded in combat, Marine looks forward to post-military life
Watertown Daily Times
WATERTOWN, N.Y. — A year after losing both of his legs, several fingers and hearing in one of his ears in an improvised explosive device attack, Cpl. Jesse Fletcher said he’s on the “fast track” to being able to leave the hospital and move forward with his life after the military.
Cpl. Fletcher, a 2008 graduate of Indian River High School, Philadelphia, said he’s scheduled to leave Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., by January or February.
“It’s a good start,” he said.
Cpl. Fletcher, a Marine scout sniper who served with the 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, was wounded Oct. 17, 2011. Asked how much he had thought about the attack Wednesday, Cpl. Fletcher replied, “Not as much as you would think.”
“My main focus was getting ready to get out of here,” he said.
Cpl. Fletcher said he had kept himself busy Wednesday with his classes in resumé and essay writing.
He also has been getting himself ready for the Army Ten-Miler, scheduled for Sunday. In July, Cpl. Fletcher received permission from his doctor to participate, and will do so by hand cycle. The race’s length will match his previous longest ride.
“It’s going to be quite the journey,” Cpl. Fletcher said.
Despite pushing his limits with the 10-mile course, Cpl. Fletcher said, he will attempt to take on the full 26.2-mile course the very next weekend at the Marine Corps Marathon.
“I feel pretty good about it,” he said. “I don’t think I’m going to have too many problems.”
As he readies himself to leave Walter Reed, Cpl. Fletcher also is looking at his options. He applied for early decision at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, N.C., and said he’ll find out about his application sometime between November and January.
Cpl. Fletcher said he also has turned his focus to doing community outreach in the Washington, D.C., area, talking to people and community groups about the abilities of wounded veterans.
“They’re young men that are more than capable of doing any task you put in front of them,” he said.
He said he looked forward someday to doing advocacy work in the north country, raising awareness and support for individuals and groups in need.