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Friday, March 25, 2011

Coin Check!

Brother was asking about one of Jesse's coins today.  His questions got me to thinking that I've never explained the coins with a true blue blog post!  Forgive me, dear readers... you're in for a treat... especially since it's after midnight and I can't get to sleep! ;o) Time for some serious Air Force Trivia facts! 

Well, okay, not really... cause the facts of the story are difficult to come by!

After doing a little digging online, I've discovered that the true history of the military challenge coin is a bit controversial... and possibly just legend.  But I like one story in particular (which seems to be the most popular anyways!) and so that's the one I'll share.  This is also the main story Jess was told.

Airborne fighting squadrons were new during the first World War.  Legend has it that one young man created special coins for his unit and gave them to each of his fellow fighters.  Each had the squadron's insignia on it.  One of the men had never been given such a valuable gift before, and therefore wore it on a leather pouch around his neck at all times.  When he was shot down and captured by the Germans, they missed the coin when confiscating all of his belongings.  He escaped and made his way back, but the French thought he was a spy and planned to execute him.  He was able to plead with them to take his coin as proof that he was an American fighter pilot and spare his life.  One Frenchman recognized the insignia on the coin, and he was saved.

It then became tradition for all the members of the squadron to keep the coin on their person at all times.

To enforce this, the "coin challenge" was born.  The men would "check" their coin on the table and everyone present was required to produce their coin.  If someone was caught without it, they had to buy everyone a drink.  If everyone had their coin, the challenger had to buy a round of drinks. 

Now coins are given to boost morale, commemorate special occasions or awards, promote squadron unity, recognize achievement, express gratitude, etc.

I happened to use my coin once to bust Jesse because I wanted him to go get me a strawberry milkshake!  I cheated a *little* though, because I waited until later in the evening when I knew he didn't have his coin on him and I *also* did this challenge *before* telling him that I had received a coin at Heartlink.  Oops!

But hey, you gotta do what you gotta do to get a milkshake when you're 7 months pregnant! ;o)

Now that Jesse's started a little collection of the puppies, I think it's time we get a fancy-smancy display stand for them.  We can put it on his "all-about-me" shelf that I'm sure he'll just *love* for me to set up somewhere! 

As an aside, they remind me of Pogs!  Can I get an amen from any other 90s kids out there? ;o)  And according to Wikipedia, the military uses pogs, too!  WHO KNEW? 


  1. Thanks for the story...the coins are awesome! And I totally remember Pogs :)

  2. Pogs...those were good times! That story is really cool!

  3. knowing your hubby, he probably would have bought you a strawberry milkshake anyway...but cool story ;)...

  4. Ahhh! Pogs... They were so great! I love the story