Vietnam Veteran 50th Anniversary Challenge Coin
A Symbol of Military Pride and Excellence
Join in a long-standing military tradition with this patriotic challenge coin tribute to our Vietnam veterans. The front of the coin pictures a map of Vietnam, with North and South in different colors. The map is surrounded by laurel leaves and the wording “50th Anniversary 1959-1975” and “Honoring Vietnam Veterans.” The back of the coin pictures three medals: the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, and the Vietnam Campaign Medal. All of these medals represent the courage and sacrifice of our service members, and you can make their history part of your collection. This meaningful challenge coin measures approximately 1.5" and is great for display.
A Custom That Began Over 100 Years Ago
During World War I, a wealthy American lieutenant had bronze medals created for each man in his flying squadron. When one pilot’s plane crashed and the Germans captured him, they took all his identification except the squad medal, carried in a pouch around his neck. The pilot finally escaped and made it to a friendly French outpost, but had no way to prove he wasn’t an impostor. The French were going to execute him until he showed his medallion. Thankfully, one of the French soldiers recognized it, and the pilot’s identity was confirmed soon after. The French gave him a bottle of wine as an apology for their mistake.
After that, every man in the pilot’s squadron carried his medal at all times. This was enforced by periodically issuing a challenge. When one man issued a challenge to another, he’d have to produce his medal immediately or else buy a drink for the challenger – giving the medallion the nickname “challenge coin.” The custom spread throughout the military and became a long-held tradition.
Today, Challenge Coins are awarded for major accomplishments and as signs of membership in a military group. They are usually presented by way of a handshake. The coins have become a long-standing military tradition. Now you can join in this tradition with your own impressive challenge coin.