In conjunction with the Vietnam Veteran Appreciation Event here in Toledo, OH last week (4-9 Jun 2013) I was afforded the opportunity to hand out Vietnam Veteran Military Brat Challenge Coins.
The idea evolved from an initiative of mine to get the Congress to authorize a Commemorative Congressional Lapel Pin for ‘Military Brats.’ Our thought was to create awareness for the contributions and sacrifices of Military Brats to our country. They ‘serve’ also… There is currently legislation before Congress, HR 1889, Children of Military Service Members Commemorative Lapel Pin Act to create such a pin for our kids. (They call us ‘the children of military service members’ because they are uncomfortable with the term, ‘brat.’ Well, okay!)
Mr. Duke Wheeler, a neighbor and friend, has supported me with my idea ever since I first presented it to him; and for that, I am very grateful. He was the “driver” behind the Wall coming to Toledo for the Vietnam Veteran Appreciation Event (hitherto, and from within, forever known now to man throughout the ages as, “The Event.”) As things began to come together Duke approached me and asked if I would like to hand out Vietnam Vet/Military Brat challenge coins at the Event. Well, sure I would… “Do we have any?” I wondered.
It took about a week or so to come up with a design. The back of the coin was easy: Vietnam – a handful of bamboo and a dragon would work fine. The front was a bit trickier.
We wanted to use a ‘likeness’ of the Vietnam War Memorial. To do this we needed ‘permission.’ Duke took care of that. Then I felt I wanted the Air Force represented. So, we added a ‘jet’ on the coin, for “top cover.” I am thrilled with what we came up with!
I am not sure (yet) how many coins we handed out, but I can tell you, they were very well received…