By John I. Pray, Jr., Brig Gen, USAF (Ret.), President & CEO of Operation Homefront.
Military challenge coins are a time-honored tradition. Leaders at all levels in the military, up to and including the President of the United States as Commander in Chief, bestow coins to select recipients to recognize excellence or commemorate special achievement.
Like many current and former military members, I have lots of coins in my collection– each one serving as a tangible reminder of an important moment or event in my professional life. While each coin is important and meaningful to me, two in particular stand out.
The first is a coin I received from General Wayne Downing, Commander of the US Special Operations Command.
Downing was an innovative and dynamic leader whom I admire greatly and his coin is a daily reminder of his passion to serve his country and his understanding of the challenges military families face while loved ones are deployed. I do my best to reflect that same passion and understanding every day at Operation Homefront.
Over the course of my two year tour, I presented the Dover Coin to over 200 people for individual and team excellence.
The etchings on the coin define the 436th Airlift Wing as “America’s Preeminent Expeditionary Airlift Team” and present its’ values of integrity, excellence, and service; values that are shared by the team I now lead at Operation Homefront.
I treasure both of these coins. They represent my commitment to my country, the honor of military tradition, and my dedication to those I have served with and for.
Join in the conversation by sharing a picture/description of your favorite military coin. Through Facebook or Twitter, please use the hashtag #militarycoins or click the link to Leave a Comment here.