Added: July 1, 2010
I want to clarify a few things…when I wrote this post, I had about 70 readers, which I naively thought was pretty neat. Now I have thousands, which is still small in comparison with a lot of blogs out there, including another blog I own that gets tens of thousands of visitors. I say this as a point of reference so that you understand that something I wrote in 2007 was designed for a very different audience. I kept it mainly as a dairy and as a way of sharing my story with humor.
One point of factual clarification: my old blog was An Army Wife’s Life at mollypitcher.blogspot.com. Sometimes I also commented as “Army Artillery Wife”. This whole blogging thing was fairly new when I started it in 2004 and pseudonyms were more common. So when I say I began “calling myself Molly Pitcher”, I mean that I took it as the blog’s address…not that I was walking around town asking people to call me Molly.
People who followed my blog understood that I logged hundreds of volunteer hours every year, without any thought of reward. I volunteered then for the same reasons I do now–because I care deeply about people, especially children, soldiers, and military families. Often I volunteered because no one else was willing. I have never asked for or applied for any of the awards I received as a military spouse volunteer. I have not only given of my time, talents, and heart for free, I have also attended training sessions and seminars to be of better service.
When I wrote this post I thought it was funny that: (A) I was double awarded an award no one had ever told me I had received; and (B) That within a week I was told I had to go to event, then told I could not go to the event, then told I had to attend it. Most commenters agreed this was amusing. Two did not and chose to attack my character despite knowing nothing about me.
This blog is about sharing stories and supporting other military spouses, not tearing each other down because we thought the tone of an old post is “off”.
Frankly, I don’t need it.
—Begin Original Post–
When I found out DH was Field Artillery, I began calling myself, “Molly Pitcher,” after the Revolutionary War heroine:
That day at Monmouth was as hot as Valley Forge was cold. Someone had to cool the hot guns and bathe parched throats with water.
Across that bullet-swept ground, a striped skirt fluttered. Mary Hays McCauly was earning her nickname “Molly Pitcher” by bringing pitcher after pitcher of cool spring water to the exhausted and thirsty men.
While she watched, [her husband] fell wounded. The piece, its crew too depleted to serve it, was about to be withdrawn. Without hesitation, Molly stepped forward and took the rammer staff from her fallen husband’s hands.
At the time, I did not realize there was an actual Molly Pitcher medal given out to spouses who support the King of Battle.
When we arrived at Ft. Hood, we attended our first St. Barbara’s Ball and I watched on, I must confess, with envy as several spouses received the Molly Pitcher award. It seemed so very romantic…in the 19th century sense. Having declared myself “Molly Pitcher” in the blogosphere, I felt a hunger to become “Molly Pitcher” in the eyes of the Field Artillery Association.
During my years in da Hood, I received a few awards from the Battalion, Brigade, and even one from the Division, but Molly Pitcher remained elusive. St. Barbara’s was not scheduled right before deployment. During deployment, we were told the officers held some sort of St. Barbara’s, but details were sketchy. We would have another one when they returned.
Then, one day, my husband called. The Battalion was apparently recommending spouses for civilian medals and for the Molly Pitcher award. He said that he hoped that I would prefer the Molly Pitcher, because I could only be nominated for one of the two and that my name was already submitted for Molly Pitcher. That’s when I revealed that I had hoped to be officially named a “Molly Pitcher” awardee since I became aware of that honor at our first (and only) St. Barbara’s. Although a civilian medal sounds cool, the unit has already recognized my efforts and my hero (DH) has as well. So, if I had the choice, I wanted to be Molly Pitcher.
Although it is too late to make a long story short, the nomination was kicked back…
…because I had already been “presented” with the Molly Pitcher award over a year ago while they were in Iraq, unbeknownst to me or to DH.
So, all this time, I already had the privilege of being Molly Pitcher and I did not even know it.
The fact that they awarded it to me while they were deployed makes it even more valuable in my eyes–I just wish I had known!
Of course, I may never get to wear my Molly Pitcher medal to St. Barbara’s Ball. Although DH already was required to purchase tickets to the Ball weeks ago, we were just told that most likely only the Fires Brigade and company-level commanders and higher will be able to attend. Maybe we’ll be invited to use those tickets we were already required to buy and maybe we won’t.
By the way, the ball is in three days.
That’s just so Army.