The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 16, Number 10, March 10, 2013, Article 17


Gar Travis forwarded this new article about ‘The Nintendo Medal’. Thanks. -Editor

Drone Pilot medal The Pentagon’s newest military honor, symbolized by a two-inch bronze medallion, has sparked fierce debate over the nation’s growing corps of drone pilots and cyberwarriors and how to commend their service, which happens far from an actual battlefield.

The Distinguished Warfare Medal, approved by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta last month, is the military’s first new combat-related medal in nearly 70 years. It is intended to recognize extraordinary contributions to combat operations by a service member from afar and will rank as the eighth highest individual award behind the Medal of Honor.

But placement of the new medal in ahead of the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, which are given for valor in the line of fire, has created significant stir.

Critics have panned it as the “Chair-borne Medal,” “the Nintendo Medal,” “Distant Warfare Medal” and “the Purple Buttocks,” alluding to fact that computer-based warriors do their work from a chair, among other names.

Top veterans groups and a rare bipartisan alliance on Capitol Hill are intensely lobbying the Pentagon and President Obama to downgrade the award.

“We are supportive of recognizing and rewarding such extraordinary service, but in the absence of the service member exposing him or herself to imminent mortal danger, we cannot support the DWM taking precedence above the Bronze Star and Purple Heart,” a bipartisan group of 48 lawmakers wrote new Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Monday.

“Possibility of death or grievous bodily harm” are key factors that should elevate recipients of those awards above others who didn’t face those risks, the group wrote.

To read the complete article, see: ‘The Nintendo Medal’? New Military Award for Drone Pilots Draws Hill Protest (

Herb Friedman writes:

Just a brief comment on the discussion about special awards for the pilots of the drones. If you follow military news closely you will know that not too long ago there was an attempt on the part of the DOD to award those pilots with real combat medals like Air Medals, Silver Stars, etc. It was the thought of those medals going to people in front of computer screens that caused an uproar from the military personnel on the front lines. It was only after that trial balloon was shot down that we saw this new medal created. It seems like a good idea and does separate them from the front-line troops and their awards.

Military historians will note that we have seen the same thing in the past when combat soldiers in artillery, armor and other fields wanted a badge similar to the Combat Infantry Badge, only to be told that they were not eligible by regulation. They stewed for decades and just a few years ago this problem was partially rectified by the creating of a close combat badge that could be awarded to non-11B (infantry) types.

Howard A. Daniel III writes:

Gar and I have met a long time ago at an ANA Convention but we do not know each other, so I do not know what service he was in or if he was ever in combat. If he knew me he would know that I blame ALL administrations for their screw-ups with the military. I am a retired Army Master Sergeant who while on active duty was always in trouble for standing up for our men on the pointed end of the spear.

It is really amazing to know there are many people who think a bomber crew is in no danger. Every bomber can be shot down in today's and yesterday's "modern" warfare. I was also greatly upset and yelling at politicians and high ranking officers when they sent our special ops out on unnecessary missions in Laos and Cambodia and many of the them were killed and many are still MIAs. These men are and were my comrades and brothers-in-arms, and I am "offended" when their missions are ranked below those sitting in a building far from danger.

Valor and bravery in armed combat is not something that changes in "modern" warfare. Civilians, politicians and the military in this and any other administration who value those men on the pointed end of the spear less than those in a building guiding a drone need some serious briefings, much of which should be in a combat zone so they can "feel" the difference between actual combat and using a joystick back in a rear area or even another country. That is the last from me on this subject.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: MARCH 3, 2013: Who Created the Distinguished Warfare Medal? (

New list available free!

Counterstamped Coins
Civil War Store Cards
from the estate of
Stephen L. Tanenbaum

Do you collect counterstamped coins and/or Civil War store cards, or would you be interested in doing so? I invite you to e-mail me for my latest list of pieces from the Stephen L. Tanenbaum Estate Collection. These pieces have been off the market for a long time—some of them since the 1960s!

cstp-14440 Rogers Bros, Phila SLT a cstp-14440 Rogers Bros, Phila SLT b

For more than 40 years Steve gathered these, continually improving and upgrading. His counterstamps include many pieces listed and or even illustrated in the Gregory Brunk and Russell Rulau catalogs plus many that are unique or unlisted! The vast majority of the Civil War store cards Mint State, many certified by NGC (which Steve was in the midst of doing) and others still in his 2x2 cardboard holders. Rarity-9 (2 to 4 known) tokens abound as do, believe it or not, R-10 (unique) tokens and unlisted varieties. Among Civil War tokens are strikes in copper-nickel, overstrikes on Indian Head cents, rarities with various Stanton reverses (1042 and 1047 gems in abundance), mint errors, “rare towns,” brockages, and more await your consideration.

cstp-14550 Sachem Oyster Saloon NYC SLT a The majority of the counterstamps and Civil War tokens are highly affordable. And, of course, all are interesting! Nearly all are one-of-a-kind in the estate and are available on a first-come, first served basis. If you will send me an e-mail request I will send you my latest list by return e-mail.

Thank you for your interest!

Dave Bowers
Box 539
Wolfeboro Falls, NH 03896

Request by e-mail:

Wayne Homren, Editor

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