Stumpy's Blog

15 Dec 2020

Military Tokens, Part III

Exonumia | Stumpy

This is the third installment of Military Coins as well as the last of the coins we were gifted by our friend for conservation, with one from my stay in the Veterans Hospital in Saint Louis Mo.

The first coin is shaped like a dog tag and its purpose is to award a squadron member for an act of “Superior Performance”. This token is normally only presented to the member by the Unit Commander or First Sergeant, it is normally given to the member personally for outstanding performance of their duties, or sometimes for a specific act, and in many cases done on the spot. As such this coin is almost never part of an award presentation, its purpose is acknowledgement on a personal level.

Obverse has the legend at the top “TOP DOG…NO BONES ABOUT IT” on either side of the tag are the symbols of a Bone, and Paw Print, between which is 51st Squadron Mascot a “Mongrel” in center on a red surface with the insignia of the 51st Civil Engineer Squadron on the right. The Reverse has the legend “RECOGNIZED SUPERIOR PERFORMER” and “PRESENTED BY THE COMMANDER”, this surrounds the duty badge of the Civil Engineer.

This unit should be an old friend since on a previous blog I displayed the actual unit token of the 51st Civil Engineer Squadron. It is one of five squadrons, part of the 51st Mission Support Group, 51st Fighter Wing, Osan AB, ROK. They are responsible for Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Fire Emergency Services, Housing and Environmental Services, Chemical Warfare Section and Operations which takes care of the base facilities, security of personnel, facilities to include all aircraft assigned to the Base.

The second coin represents a nice accomplishment. It is from the 30th Under Secretary of the Army, at the time Joseph W. Westphal and is also presented for excellence. It is normally a Squadron/Unit achievement, not a personal one. While I have it on good authority that this coin was earned, I admit to having some negative feelings when I saw it. I once saw a unit awarded this prestigious accomplishment due to a series of political cranial insertions into dark bodily orifices. Even though I was later in two different units that I feel actually deserved the award, seeing one still brings that memory back.

The third and last coin represents a week-long painful visit to the Veterans Hospital in Saint Louis Mo. I was having blood clot problems in my left leg. Having lost the lower part of my right leg years ago, I was in pain and worried about losing a second limb, this time to a stupid blood clot, an issue I’ve experienced since being exposed to some nasty “Stuff” during my time in service.

Obverse; American Flag draped through the Arch with the words “The Hospital for Heroes” and the initials JB/JC below. “THANK YOU is at the top, “ST LOUIS VA MEDICAL CENTER” below. Reverse; National Crest of United States

It is by far my least favorite coin of any I have.

A portly Catholic Priest (I’m not Catholic and he didn’t care) came into my room, spoke to me for a few, said a prayer for me and presented me with this coin. He was a Vietnam vet and came across like a great guy.

That brings me to an observation I made during my time in the military, no matter where we were, what was happening, peace time, or war, there was always a Catholic Priest around, and they didn’t care if you were catholic or not. As one old Priest said, "I just want to Serve God and my fellow man”.

You seldom saw a representative of almost any other religion, but there was always a Catholic Priest anywhere we served, that fact has stuck with me to this day.

Well, this finishes the coins I told you guys and gals I would post. Maybe in the future I will show some of my old Unit Coins. Time will tell, thanks for letting me share these coins. Later!



Level 5

Super nice medals. Great collection dedicated to hard work.


Level 5

Nice medals, nice blog!

Thanks for sharing the rest of these!


Level 6

Really nice! I especially like the dog tag shaped one. Thanks for sharing these!

walking liberty

Level 4

Those are some nice medals you got there! I only have 2 military medals one is a marine and the other is a 1917 german one.

I. R. Bama

Level 5

Great Challenge coin! Thanks!


Level 5

The dog tag medal looks very neat. What better way to reward someone for their service other than a nice medal honoring them? One year when I visited Boston we went behind the Paul Revere house, and there was a wall of hundreds of dog tags. Thanks for sharing!


Level 5

Longstrider remember the only difference between a fairy tale and a war story is one starts out "Once upon a time" & the other "No crap, this really happened". Lol! My Grandfather used to say "Son, never let the truth get in the way of a good story". Having said that, I now tell you the tales are true! If I ever want to shut my spousal unit up, I just have to ask her "What happened at the Border?".....I will die a slow death if she reads this. Lol. Later!

Coin Keeper

Level 4

I never collected these coins... But they sound interesting!


Level 6

Great blog Stumpy. Beautiful, I'm going to say Challenge Coins. I love the stories behind them. Since we are almost neighboring Desert Rats, I hope to meet soon at a show and get the Better Half's story on you!! I promise I won't tell. Later. Thanks to You and the Wife Unit!


Level 5

Really nice medals. Never seen anything like these before. Thanks for sharing your medals and history.


Level 6

Nice blog. The medals make an interesting collection


Level 7

You have such a wonderful collection of these. I bet you deserved them. I know you have your all. Sir you were a soldier. And a dam good one. What you have for this country can't be repaid. When I read your blogs I get the devotion you have for your service I enjoy these blogs. Makes me sorry I wasn't there. But I had no choice.keep them coming b!!


Level 5

Nice looking medals my friend! Cheers, NM

It's Mokie

Level 6

Love It, those designs, especially the ones with cutouts, are exceptional. You have a show-worthy collection there!!!

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