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What is the difference between a Commemorative Coin and a Challenge Coin?

CHALLENGE COINS or COMMEMORATIVE COINS

There are many examples of traditions that build camaraderie in the military, but few are as well respected as the practice of carrying a challenge coin.—a small medallion or token that signifies a person is a member of a particular unit or organization.  One little known fact is that coins and military service go back a lot farther than our modern age, with one of the earliest known examples of an enlisted soldier being awarded a coin or medallion for valor took place in Ancient Rome.  It has been said that the coin was especially minted with a mark of the legion from which it came, prompting the men to hold on to their coins as a memento.

The more modern use of challenge coins came about during and after World War II when members of a particular military unit would carry the unit coin and “challenge” another member whereby if the “challenged” member did not have their coin they were stuck with paying for the drinks.  If the challenged member had their coin then the challenger had to buy the drinks. This tradition has since been expanded to where an officer or NCO would carry a coin to give to an associate or friend as a token of respect or friendship.

Many civilian authorities that have associations with the military, including the President of the United States, Cabinet members, elected officials and government appointees have followed the custom of giving their personal coin to friends and acquaintances.

It is with this traditional background in mind the originators of the Veterans Commemorative coin go out of their way to emphasize the difference between the Commemorative coin and a challenge coin.

With the solemn commitment on the reverse side of the Veterans Commemorative coin whereby a veteran has literally offered his or her life for their country, it is truly a “commemorative” coin and under no circumstances would it be appropriate to be used as a gaming piece in a bar.  The respect and honor for not only the bearer of this coin,  is called for even more so, in that the design has the ribbon tying the laurel wreaths together at the bottom of the coin representing those warriors who did not return home.  Any veteran and especially a combat veteran understands this and respects the coin for what it represents.

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This commemoratory coin should be in the hands of every man and woman who ever donned the uniform and solemnly swore “that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic...”

Many ways to honor veterans with a Vetcoin

Every day there is more and more emphasis on recognizing and honoring our veterans to whom we owe so much for the time, sacrifice and dedication they have given to take time out of there lives for our great country.  We see this in the industrial world where several hundred corporations have joined the Military Friendly Employers dedicated to give veterans every consideration possible in their hiring procedures.  Government as well is stepping up its activities in honoring these returning warriors as evidenced in several veteran programs recently at the White House.

In support of these activities the Vetcoin project has been in operation for over 4 years having made considerable donations to several veteran’s organizations with the bulk of these donations going to the Folds of Honor Foundation, an educational scholarship fund for the dependents of those veterans killed in action or permanently disabled as a result of combat operations.

During this past 4 years Vetcoin has been successful in  providing assistance to numerous organizations, both veteran and commercial, in their programs to honor members, employees, associates and customers by a providing commemorative coin that very simply says ‘thank you’ for your service, time and sacrifice for our great country.

On this page is a partial listing of the type of organizations and events Vetcoin is working with who have been active in prominently recognizing our veterans:

State Women Veteran Organizations

The message on the reverse side of the coin very succinctly spells out the risk every veteran makes regardless of gender.  There are currently over 2 million lady veterans in the country and with over 11% of the active force being made up with women, more are being added every day.  Women warriors serving in combat zones in an every increasing number make the coin just that much more meaningful and the fact that the Women Veteran organizations recognize this is commendable.

Military Funerals

Several military units, and particularly the Marine Corps League, who provide honor guard services for the family of a deceased veteran will place a Vetcoin on the folded colors as the colors are presented to the family at the conclusion of the burial rite.  This very simple but moving gesture has generated a response that has been more than gratifying.

Employee Veteran Organizations

Many large companies with numerous veterans on the payroll have formed and encouraged membership in an internal veterans group that addresses situations common to veterans as they pursue their civilian career.  On Veteran’s Day the Vetcoin makes the perfect way to recognize these veterans for their sacrifice.  The Boeing Company and Raytheon have been noted for their participation in such activities.

Military Chaplains

A retired Army Chaplain in southern California whose ministry consists of mainly calling on and assisting veterans of all branches who are hospitalized.  The reaction of these veterans has been so spectacular the Chaplain has been reordering on a regular basis as his inventory of coins depletes.

Wounded Warrior Project and the Help Hospitalized Veterans Organizations

Both of these wonderful organizations have participated in the coin presentations and the Wounded Warriors group is one of the organizations Vetcoin has contributed to.

Shadow Box Display

The antique bronze finish of the Veteran’s Commemorative coin was chosen so the coins would match the majority of the Armed Services awards and decorations many veterans display in a shadow box display.

Bikers

Motorcycle Clubs such as the Patriot Guard Riders have given the Veterans Commemorative coins to its members in appreciation for their participation in many freedom rallies, veteran’s funerals and numerous patriotic events.

Churches

Churches have been extremely active in honoring those in their congregation who have served in the military with patriotic programs especially on Veterans Day in November, by presenting each veteran with the Veterans Commemorative coin.

Retirement Centers

With the aging of World War II and Korean War veterans, many retirement centers are housing more and more veterans and in doing so are conducting special programs on Veterans Day with the Veterans Commemorative coin being the gift of choice to these members of the Greatest Generation.

Speakers Gifts

The Happy Warriors, a distinguished group of older veterans in Dallas, hold monthly meetings at which they invite a speaker who is usually a veteran also.  As a token of appreciation a Veterans Commemorative coin is always presented as a token of appreciation.

Reunions

Numerous veteran reunions have used the Veterans Commemorative coin as memento of the reunion.  Also many of the reunion organizers have asked for additional coins that are sold with the proceeds going to either help cover reunion expenses or to be given as a gift to a charitable organization.

American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) & Disabled American Veterans (DAV)

State conventions of these veteran organizations have allowed Vetcoin to set up a vendor booth and sell the Commemorative coin to attendees.  Proceeds for the sales at the VFW conventions have been sent directly to the VFW National Home for Children in Eaton Rapids, Michigan rather than the educational scholarship funds.

Professional People

Professional people such as attorneys, financial advisors, engineers, consultants and medical people have given the Commemorative coins to clients as a token of not only their service but in appreciation for their business.

Trucking Companies

Almost all of the Trucking and Motor Transport companies recruit veterans for drivers, handlers and administrative personnel because of the vast experience and knowledge attained while on military active duty.  J B Hunt, one of the largest, if not the largest freight hauler in the world has supported the Vetcoin project, along with FedEx, Walmart Transportation and many smaller independent truckers.

Six Coins to Honor Veterans (front view below)

Joint Services

Joint Services

Air Force

Air Force

Army

Army

Coast Guard

Coast Guard

Marine Corps

Marine Corps

Navy

Navy

The Definition of a VETERAN

A VETERAN is a person who wrote a blank check payable to the United States of America for an amount of up to and including one's life.

Veteran's Commitment

 

(Inscription on back of each coin)

State Women Veteran Organizations

The message on the reverse side of the coin very succinctly spells out the risk every veteran makes regardless of gender.  There are currently over 2 million lady veterans in the country and with over 11% of the active force being made up with women, more are being added every day.  Women warriors serving in combat zones in an every increasing number make the coin just that much more meaningful and the fact that the Women Veteran organizations recognize this is commendable.

Military Funerals

Several military units, and particularly the Marine Corps League, who provide honor guard services for the family of a deceased veteran will place a Vetcoin on the folded colors as the colors are presented to the family at the conclusion of the burial rite.  This very simple but moving gesture has generated a response that has been more than gratifying.

Employee Veteran Organizations

Many large companies with numerous veterans on the payroll have formed and encouraged membership in an internal veterans group that addresses situations common to veterans as they pursue their civilian career.  On Veteran’s Day the Vetcoin makes the perfect way to recognize these veterans for their sacrifice. The Boeing Company and Raytheon have been noted for their participation in such activities.

Military Chaplains

A retired Army Chaplain in southern California whose ministry consists of mainly calling on and assisting veterans of all branches who are hospitalized.  The reaction of these veterans has been so spectacular the Chaplain has been reordering on a regular basis as his inventory of coins depletes.

Bikers

Motorcycle Clubs such as the Patriot Guard Riders have given the Veterans Commemorative coins to its members in appreciation for their participation in many freedom rallies, veteran’s funerals and numerous patriotic events.

Churches

Churches have been extremely active in honoring those in their congregation who have served in the military with patriotic programs especially on Veterans Day in November, by presenting each veteran with the Veterans Commemorative coin.

Retirement Centers

With the aging of World War II and Korean War veterans, many retirement centers are housing more and more veterans and in doing so are conducting special programs on Veterans Day with the Veterans Commemorative coin being the gift of choice to these members of the Greatest Generation.

Speaker Gifts

The Happy Warriors, a distinguished group of older veterans in Dallas, hold monthly meetings at which they invite a speaker who is usually a veteran also.  As a token of appreciation a Veterans Commemorative coin is always presented as a token of appreciation.

Reunions

Numerous veteran reunions have used the Veterans Commemorative coin as memento of the reunion. Also many of the reunion organizers have asked for additional coins that are sold with the proceeds going to either help cover reunion expenses or to be given as a gift to a charitable organization.

Professional People

Professional people such as attorneys, financial advisors, engineers, consultants and medical people have given the Commemorative coins to clients as a token of not only their service but in appreciation for their business.

Trucking Companies

Almost all of the Trucking and Motor Transport companies recruit veterans for drivers, handlers and administrative personnel because of the vast experience and knowledge attained while on military active duty.  J B Hunt, one of the largest, if not the largest freight hauler in the world has supported the Vetcoin project, along with FedEx, Walmart Transportation and many smaller independent truckers.