I remember when we were one of the few companies making military coins. They were popular but really just catching on. One night I was watching a televised speech from the oval office by President Bill Clinton and there behind his desk were challenge coins. President Clinton had quite a collection of Challenge coins. Just about every military unit he visited gave him one and he appreciated them enough to put military coins in the best office in the land.
WHO’S WHO OF CHALLENGE COIN PRESENTERS
The cool thing about challenge coins is that their value to their owner almost invariably comes from remembering who presented it to you. I actually found a coin the other day that I received when I was on active duty. It was the 6th Recruiting Brigade Gold Miner coin. I remember who gave it to me, why and where. That is the beauty of military coins. They are a road-map to our careers.
One day in an airport I was speaking to a young coastguardsman. I suppose I was annoying him but that is the duty of every retiree to annoy people who are on active duty. We can’t help it. At least our hearts are in the right place but then I digress. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a coin he got from US Coast Guard Station Borinquen. He explained how he got it and from whom. I asked him what he thought of the design and he said he thought It was perfect for his unit. I didn’t have the heart to tell him I had made the coin. The fact that he was willing to talk about his coin for 10 minutes in the airport says it all.
CREATING A PRESENTATION COIN TRADITION
As soon as I am finished with this blog entry I am going to design a military coin for a unit in Idaho. They had a basic idea of what they wanted and I am going to turn that into a piece of history. For a couple of hundred service men and women who get these there will be a story not only about how they got the coin but what all of the symbols on the coins mean. I am always very careful with that. I have come to realize that it is an important job and I am honored to be allowed to do it.
WHOSE COIN WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO HAVE
I would be interested in knowing whose coin you would most like to have. Would you go for famous or infamous? There are some infamous ones out there. I won’t name names but there are some from people who would just as soon not have spent so much time in the news. So let us know. Would it be a military coin or a celebrity coin? Who knows? Maybe someone will see it and………..