Molly Pitcher

My Ft. Bliss POC phoned one morning in early December 2011, inviting me to their early January St. Barbara’s Day Ball.  I explained I was committed to a function at Holloman Air Force Base that evening.  He called back the following week, and said I really would like you to come to this ball.  Again, I explained that I could not disappoint the Holloman AFB Officers Wives whose fund raising event was that evening.

He called back the next week and in a very no-nonsense voice said, “Millie, you must come to the St. Barbara’s Day Ball.  I finally gave in, told him that I would wear my new black pantsuit.  He quickly said, “Oh no, you must wear a long dress.” So, I drive to Albuquerque and paid $350. for a long dress — on sale.  The evening of the event, my Command Sergeant Major friend picked me at the hotel on the base.  My husband, Marvin, stayed in the hotel room, watching a football game.

CSM James Ross turns around from the front passenger seat, he had a driver, and said “Now Millie, here is what’s going to happen tonight—you are the Guest of Honor”.  High-ranking officers were there from bases all across the USA and some from out of the country.  The room holds 600, and it was packed.  I was seated at the head table, next to General Dana Pittard, Ft. Bliss Commander, with a vacant chair next to me.  After some preliminary programming, I was called to the stage where a visiting General Officer placed a red ribbon that held a large gold medallion around my neck, explained the significance of the Molly Pitcher Award (very little of it which I recall), and handed me a framed certificate that proclaimed me to be a woman who had earned this coveted honor.

I had never heard of Molly Pitcher and did not know the history of this award until I got home and googled Molly Pitcher.  To this day, I’m not sure I’ve shown the appropriate gratitude for having been honored with such an esteemed award.

by Millie Woods



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