Imagine as a child being told that people would never be able to understand you when you talk… As we continue our Remarkable Women series, this is the story of Melody Brown — how she beat the odds and is using her challenges to help encourage others.
Melody serves as the Chief of Protocol for the 91st Missile Wing at Minot Air Force Base.
“The main purpose of my job is to ensure that when we have a distinguished guest come in, that their itineraries and agendas is as followed by wing commanders,” said Melody.
She has had the chance to meet some of the most important people in the world. Secretaries of Defense and even the Secretary of the Air Force, making sure their visit to the Magic City is the best it can be.
“I often think, who am I that God would even allow me to be in that position to meet people of that status. I’m very humbled by that,” Melody added.
She said getting to this point was no sure thing. Melody was born with a cleft palate, an opening in the roof of her mouth that would cause speech difficulties.
She added, “Medical technology back then, wasn’t what it was today. My parents never made me feel like I had a birth defect. They would just let me talk. While no one knew what in the world I was saying, they would just let me talk.”
She said she only began to feel different when she reached school-age. Then, after multiple surgeries to repair her cleft palate, her father encouraged her to attend Minot State University, where she met someone who made quite an impact.
“Her name was Dr. Helen Lamar, and she left such an impression on my heart, and she gave me the gift of flexibility. Just be flexible,” said Melody.
Which she did. Between the challenges she faced as a child, and the people in her life who inspired her, she’s built a life of service. Not only service to her country, but to her community.
“What I do is I find charities in which our church women groups can help support,” she said.
Like Gloves of Love, which gathered gloves for children who were less fortunate during the winter months. And to top it off — she’s setting an example for the next generation.
“My mom a very encouraging woman. She is my rock. She truly is one of the people that I can call on and she will say, “hey look at it from this perspective,” added Melody’s son, Jarrod Brown.
It’s a lesson that can speak volumes for all of us.
“If you’re kind, if you’re considerate, if you’re compassionate, and understanding…that goes a long way,” she added.
Brown said she will continue to find different charities to give to and to find new ways to be a servant leader.