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Wounded Marine Jessie Fletcher moves forward two years after surviving IED attack in Afghanistan

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Two years after he suffered massive injuries in an IED attack in Afghanistan, the mood was lighter for former Marine Scout Sniper Jessie Fletcher.

It was his Alive Day. His morning started with a call from a friend at 6:45 a.m. Thursday.

“I get more calls on my Alive Day than my birthday,” Cpl. Fletcher said. He added that he had a party with family the week before.

In the IED attack, Cpl. Fletcher, who served with the 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, lost his legs, multiple fingers and hearing in one of his ears.

Rather than dwell on the what-ifs of the incident, Cpl. Fletcher, a 2008 graduate of Indian River High School, Philadelphia, said Thursday that he thought more of his family and the Marines he served with that day. He also penned a message to the snipers he was with the day of his injury.

“Side by side we decided on that hill it was a good day to survive, and that’s why we call it the alive day,” his note read.

The past year has been a whirlwind of activity for Cpl. Fletcher, as he retired and left Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Md. in December.

Cpl. Fletcher has a few milestones in the weeks ahead. He turns 25 on Oct. 26, and he will marry his fiancee, Emily Ball, on Nov. 16.

He’s also a few months into his business classes at Salem College, an all-women’s school in Winston-Salem, N.C., which Ms. Ball graduated from in 2008. Cpl. Fletcher said his new school presented quite the culture shock from his life in the Marines, which has mostly men.

“Now I’m being placed in a community where it’s the exact opposite,” he said.

He said his new school has helped him see things from a different perspective.

Cpl. Fletcher said a new home is in the planning phases for himself and his fiancee, with help from the nonprofit Helping a Hero. The group held a groundbreaking for the two in March.

He said he and his fiancee were still seeking donations of time or supplies for their planned home. He can be reached through his Facebook page, http://wdt.me/BBWWqP. His blog can be found at http://wdt.me/6S56GF.

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