Saturday, December 29, 2007

Kevin and Mine's Christmas Gifts

Wow, I'm a blogging fool today! I am so happy, for Christmas Kevin and I bought each other coin holders. We got a really good deal on matching ones. We finally got them today so we had to show them off.

Just to give a little history on the Challenge Coin


During World War I, American volunteers from all parts of the country filled the newly formed flying squadrons. Some were wealthy scions attending colleges such as Yale and Harvard who quit in midterm to join the war. In one squadron, a wealthy lieutenant ordered medallions struck in solid bronze carrying the squadron emblem for every member of his squadron. He himself carried his medallion in a small leather sack around his neck.
Shortly after acquiring the medallions, this pilot's aircraft was severely damaged by ground fire. He was forced to land behind enemy lines and was immediately captured by a German Patrol. In order to discourage his escape, the Germans took all of his personal identification except for the small leather pouch around his neck. In the meantime, he was taken to a small French town near the front. Taking advantage of a bombardment that night he donned civilian clothes and escaped. However, he was without personal identification.
He succeeded in avoiding German patrols and reached the front lines. With great difficulty, he crossed no-man's land. Eventually, he stumbled into a French outpost. Unfortunately, the French in this sector of the front had been plagued by saboteurs. They sometimes masqueraded as civilians and wore civilian clothiers. Not recognizing the young pilot's American accent, the French thought him to be a saboteur and made ready to execute him. Just in time, he remembered his leather pouch containing the medallion. He showed the medallion to his would-be executioners. His French captors recognized the squadron insignia on the medallion and delayed long enough for him to confirm his identity. Instead of shooting him, they gave him a bottle of wine.
Back with his squadron, it became a tradition to ensure that all members carried their medallion or coin at all times. This was accomplished through a challenge in the following manner, a challenger would ask to see the coin, if he challenger could not produce his coin, he was required to purchase a drink of choice for he member who had challenged him. If the challenged member produced his coin, then the challenging member was required to pay for the drink. This tradition continued throughout the war and for many years after while surviving members of the squadron were still alive.
Now, coining is a military tradition, they aren't handed out all the time and they are given out as a concept of recognition for various reasons. Generally coins are not handed out liberally.

So throughout our time in the military we have both received different coins and are proud to finally be able to display them!

Both of our coin holders together...Nadine's on the left, Kevin's on the right




Michelle said...

You know I have a few coins myself...not nearly as many as you have, but now that you meantion it I have no idea where they all are! I need to find them!

Trevs Navy Wife ~ Marla said...

We have some coins...I should get one of those to showcase them!!


Jared & Madelyn said...

Those look great! I've been looking into getting one for Jared since his coin collection is growing, and he keeps them in his sock drawer, lol.

Two Lovers & a Cat said...

I have like... one.
Hubby has like... a hundred.
I'm in the process of designing a second coin for this latest unit we are with. The first one I made in the shape of a bull head. (I did not like that animal mascot because that meant to me that we wives were the Cows.) You need to get a case with a mirror in the back to hang on the wall and hang them side by side!
When your hubby retires, I think you all should have a family coin made! Wouldn't that be awesome? They let you put photos, engrave your faces, pretty much whatever you want on them. And you could put your travels as a military family on your coin. Well I will stop now. I have not seen your blog in a long time! I must catch up!