United States Field Artillery Association
TO ALL FIELD ARTILLERYMEN WHEREVER YE MAY BE
Greetings! Know ye that there appeared before a most arduous and selective committee composed of highly esteemed and proven Field Artilleryman a likely candidate forThe Artillery Order of Molly PitcherBE IT REMEMBERED: That the hereinafter mentioned individual has distinguished herself through faithful and devoted service to the Field Artillery Community andBE IT KNOWN: By all ye Field Artillerymen who may be honored by her presence thatSDhas been faithful to the Artillery. Offering courage and patience and help in the best traditions of military service, she has been found worthy to be numbered as a deserving member of this traditional sisterhood and has been duly initiated into the fold.BE IT FURTHER UNDERSTOOD: That we hereby confer upon her the shield of Molly Pitcher emblazoned above and enjoin all Field Artilleryman henceforth to show due honor and respect whenever she enters their midst.Given under our handthis15th day of August2007
Prior to learning I'd be receiving this award, I had never heard of Molly Pitcher. RLB had been in the Army just over a year and was a Specialist (E4). We were living in South Korea and I had been doing what I had done for the previous twelve years of marriage: supporting his mission.
I learned all I could about the Army, the rank structure and protocol, and volunteered my time to assist the commander with families. I availed myself to families back home in the States to be able to call me with any questions or concerns they had. I assisted in Red Cross calls and I helped families who were new to Korea find housing and get their homes set up. I educated them about the assistance and training the Army provides for families. When families were invited to watch live fires during field exercises, I gathered other wives together and we made treats to hand out to the soldiers who had been eating MRE's for days.
The other side of the award tells this about Molly Pitcher:
The Story of Molly Pitcher
An Artillery wife, Mary Hays McCauly (better known as Molly Pitcher) shared the rigors of Valley Forge with her husband, William Hays. Her actions during the battle of Monmouth (28 June 1778) became legendary. That day at Manmouth 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. She also tended to the wounded and once, heaving a crippled continental soldier up on her strong young back, carried him out of reach of hard-charging Britishers. On her next trip with water she found her artilleryman husband back with the guns again, replacing a casualty. While she watched, Hays 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. For the second time on an American battlefield, a woman manned a gun. (The first was Margaret Corbin during the defence of Fort Washington in 1776.) Resolutely, she stayed at her post in the face of heavy enemy fire, ably acting as a matross (gunner).
For her heroic role, General Washington himself issued her a warrant as a noncommissioned officer. Thereafter, she was widely hailed as "Sergeant Molly." A flagstaff and cannon stand at her gravesite at Carlisle, Pennsylvania. A sculpture on the battle monument commemorates her courageous deed.I fell in love with Army traditions right away. It will be interesting what happens to this tradition now that feminism has encroached the last area of the Army that was predominately all male, Combat Arms. Will the husbands of the female Artillerymen be given this award? I digress, that's not what this post is about.
As wives, we need to seek to be Molly Pitcher in our marriages.
While the role of being the provider, protector, and leader may never rest on our shoulders, it is very important that we support and assist in any way we possibly can. Should something happen to our husbands, we need to be able to carry on with our families in a manner that edifies him and that honors his leadership and vision for his family for generations to come. This requires being in a state of harmony with your husband. He needs to see and know that he can put his full faith and trust in you. That in facing a storm, you will remain steadfast.
Set it as a priority in your marriage to be on the same page with your husband. If someone were to ask you a question that your answer would not vary from what his would. When your children are in need of guidance that you would know your husband so well, you would not hesitate in giving them the advice he would.
RLB's Grandfather has had huge influence in the family. And still to this day we often hear, "Well you know what Grandpa would say." RLB never met him, he died just a couple weeks before RLB was born but yet he knows him well. This edification and respect is the very thing I desire for RLB from our grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
As devoted wives we need to be willing to man the guns if ever need be. Military wives, you know how important it is to be able to effortlessly fill in the gap when your Soldier deploys. You need to be able to manage the household in his absence, according to his leadership. From financial decisions, to tending to the maintenance of your home, you need to have a plan of action for everything that could arise in his absence. The same holds true for civilian wives. Discuss these things with your husband. Learn the things he does around the home. Understand his financial goals and stay disciplined to them. Keep yourselves fit and healthy (mentally and physically) so that you will not tire in the event you must stand in his stead.
While your husband is with you, become the wife who "cools the hot guns and bathes parched throats with water." Order your home to be a place of comfort and rest. A place your husband can retreat to so that he may restore his energy and strength to go back out and endure his Valley Forge.