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A Thing To Hold My Other Things

October 18, 2021

My brother called me this evening,

Whatcha doing?

Just puttering around in my workshop.

What are you building?

A challenge coin display case.

Aren’t those normally a military thing?

Y’all shouldn’t have told the rest of us about them.

How many do you have?

About 25

My workshop is my garage. That’s pretty common for hobbyists like me. My workshop is full of beautiful projects in their native state. It’s like Ikea, but without the instruction sheets.

This board had a display case hiding inside it.

I inherited these 12″x1″ boards. From someone cleaning out an old storeroom. They are wonderful seasoned pine boards. I’m not really a pants-er when it comes to projects. Even simple projects, I design them first.

This one required just the table saw and the chop saw.

And after just a couple hours in the shop, some glue and a brad nailer, I had a display case.

Technically, most of these are not true challenge coins. As my brother said, a challenge coins a “military thing.” Each military unit had their own coin. It identified them as a member of a unit. The reason they are called “challenge coins” has to do with drinking. (Of course, it does. I already mentioned military.)

When at a bar, a member of the until can take out his coin and put it on the bar as a challenge. All other members of the unit have to show their own coin. Anyone who doesn’t have their unit coin must buy the next round. If everyone has their coin, the original challenger must buy the next round.

Unit commanders and higher level officers can also give out challenge coins as a token of gratitude. None of my coins are military. The closest is a USAA coin.

Not exactly military, but from an organization that does a lot with the military. A lot of my coins are scouting coins.

Scouting has a program called Woodbadge. I’m a member of the Fox patrol.

And I collect coins from national and state parks and monuments.

Even the city just south of us, Orem, created a coin a few years ago

Anyone can create a challenge coin. I do a lot of work with the Follow The Flag organization. Last year they brought out a challenge coin.

This year is the 150th anniversary of Masonry in Utah. The Grand Lodge of Utah issued a coin.

Not all the items on my display are coins. I have some pins as well. Including the one my uncle gave me when he was Potentate of the Calam Shrine. (Yeah, the Shriners.)

I also have a collection of Schlock Mercenary coins. Probably the rarest coin in my collection is this Volunteers coin from the Schlock Mercenary collection.

Still plenty of room for further adventures. Who knows, maybe my daughter will even get me a true military challenge coin someday.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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