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V14 2011 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 14, Number 42, October 9, 2011, Article 17

CITY OF LAKEWOOD CHALLENGE COIN

An E-Sylum reader forwarded this story about a challenge coin from the News-Tribune (Washington state). -Editor

Lakewood Challenge Coin The City of Lakewood has created its own challenge coin, drawing from a military tradition so civic leaders can recognize a job well done.

Its development reflects both the growing popularity of challenge coins in the civilian world and the close ties that Lakewood has with the military. The city is Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s closest neighbor. Many service members and veterans live in Lakewood, and a majority of the City Council has served in uniform.

“We recognize that our city is in the heart of the military community here in the South Sound area,” said Jordan Haines, co-owner of Lakewood-based COINFORCE.com, which designed the city coin with input from the City Council. “It only made sense for them to have a coin.”

Mayor Doug Richardson presented coins to Lakewood Police Chief Bret Farrar and Ken Sharp, chief at West Pierce Fire & Rescue, during Sunday’s commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The Lakewood Police Department has its own challenge coins. Former Police Chief Larry Saunders ordered them shortly after the department formed in 2004, and Chief Bret Farrar requested an updated design earlier this year.

The heritage of challenge coins is said to date back to World War I. Service members carry them as proof they belong to a military unit, and commanders often present them to reward notable service. Service members who fail to produce their coin when challenged at a bar traditionally buy a round of drinks for colleagues who show their coins.

Lakewood’s coin traces its origin back to a small dilemma for city leaders. Military commanders often presented the coins when they attended homecomings and change-of-command ceremonies at Lewis-McChord. They had nothing to give in return.

Council members Don Anderson and Jason Whalen, who work for the same Tacoma law firm, created a preliminary design that COINFORCE’s team could put to metal. The other council members liked the idea.

To read the complete article, see: City of Lakewood creates own coins (www.thenewstribune.com/2011/09/17/1827637/
city-of-lakewood-creates-own-coins.html)

Wayne Homren, Editor

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