Serving in the military is one thing, but serving the military is another. When the troops go and fight for our freedom they count on our support. Things like morale are one of the highest concerns to keep going along with a distinct connection to friends and family.
In the field or even at the home station two things help support the troops and allow them to connect. Challenge coins give the opportunity to reward for excellence, integrity, and outstanding performance. When a commander gives a coin to a soldier it symbolizes acceptance in today's unit. Challenge coins have been around since WWII and are coming out of the field constantly to remember where their country sent them to serve. No matter how you feel politically, this is a way to reward a citizen that could live next to you, or perhaps your son or daughter, for sacrificing the life to defend you. Collecting challenge coins has been a direct result of all the units and commanders creating marks of their existence.
So many people around the world enjoy displaying coin in their office and home for others to see the sheer beauty of their collections. If you ever want to track your favorite aircraft, ground unit, or job in the military by collecting certain challenge coins then get into a community for it. There are only a select few groups that discuss and help new collectors learn about this hobby. Besides helping the military develop coins and collectors find them, the soldiers still need the connection. These days the government has allowed video conferencing from the front lines, email, phone calls, letters, and other methods to talk to their love ones. We all need to realize that MySpace, Face book, and other social methods are a no go out there because it's not safe.
The only social method out there has been developed and allowed on the front lines is Military Commons. This is a troops and relatives only area to allow those soldiers the freedom to connect to friends. In the end we all try to do our part for the soldiers, airmen, sailors, and Marines out there defending themselves and other Americans for the whim of political battles and world rights.
These are just some ways some people are trying to give back, You will find other ways through care packages, letters, or just a thank you on the street.
Adam is the owner and operator of Custom Challenge Coins and Collectibles and donates resources for military networking.