Challenge coins are a pretty recent craze that has been picking up momentum among people of all age groups in the past several years. Although the popularity is new, the history of challenge coins goes back several centuries, according to Wikipedia. There are some people who argue the practice is actually older than the colonization of North America. Regardless of when challenge coins developed, they are used for confidence, unity and remembrance.
What Are Challenge Coins Exactly?
They are coins made out of either brass, copper, bronze or silver. You can have them customized specifically for a friend, family member or loved one, or they can be produced in large quantities for a graduating class, a group like a platoon or an entire military branch. They are meant to be carried with you at all times, and they are a constant reminder of a group or special event. They can be symbolic, bring a sense of belonging or promote camaraderie. Most of all though they are meant to honor military veterans in a number of ways. Here are three important ways these special coins honor vets.
Builds the Bond of Brotherhood
Giving the coins to vets can create a sense of brotherhood and build unity not easily duplicated among other methods. The coins shine the light on the hidden lines of of connection that still exists between fellow veterans. For example, giving a coin several years after a veteran has completed their service is a great way to remind them of their participation. Also, it shows them how much they are appreciated. It is an ideal way to let veterans know they are appreciated for being part of something bigger than themselves, and they played an important role in serving the United States and protecting Her freedom.
They Give Hope and Help With PTSD and Other Mental Illnesses
The challenge coin offers hope and support to vets dealing with mental illness from their time served, especially PTSD. Also, it honors them by connecting them to their past in a positive way. Often, revisiting and confronting them memories is helpful during the healing process, according to Mental Health Daily.
They Inspire Loyalty
Challenge coins can re-inspire loyalty in veterans or inspire a new kind of loyalty in them. Anyone part of an important team knows how much it can form a bond of brotherhood and unity, and that kind of bond is one of life’s greatest gifts. Anyone ever part of an important sports team during high school knows what a unifying experience it can be. We felt like we really belonged to something special because we trusted each other as friends, teammates and backed each other up. Giving a challenge coin that can inspire or remind a vet of that is a great way to honor them.
Now you know what challenge coins are and what they stand for in case it was a new concept to you. You should take the opportunity to give one as a gift. It is a great way of showing thanks and honoring our nation’s veterans.