The CaptainCon Challenge Coin
For several years now, we’ve been producing commemorative challenge coins like the one you see here for CaptainCon and other convention events. They’re a great keepsake to remind you of good times at the convention and help us raise funds to cover the cost of the show, but I wanted to take a moment today on Veterans’ Day to talk a bit about where they came from and why they’re a bit more significant than you might think.
The Challenge Coin has its origins in the US armed forces and can be found in all branches of service today. As I’ve come to understand it, commanding officers present coins to members of their units or those who served in a particular time and place to mark that fact. Many are prized possessions in memory of important people and times for the recipients.
The traditional social use of these coins, when members of the military are together where beverages are served, is that any one may challenge the others by producing his/her coin. Everyone else must then produce a challenge coin. The person who could not, must buy the next round of drinks or, if everyone else had a coin, the person who started it all buys the round.
This tradition made the jump into the circle of gamers who organize CaptainCon via the many active duty and retired members of the armed forces we know, most especially one Devilsquid of the Privateer Press Pressgang who produced the first Pressgang challenge coin back in the day. From there, we’ve seen the tradition spread to volunteers, organizers, and attendees of gaming events across the country and many of us have collected quite a number of coins.
As we get nearer to CaptainCon and I’m thinking about producing this year’s coin, I ask you all to pause a moment with me and give some consideration to the origin of the coins. My Devilsquid challenge coin is one of my most treasured gaming item, not because it was the first, but because it reminds me of where this all came from. It’s a symbol I carry in my pocket of all the men and women throughout history (of all nations) who were willing and able to go to places most of us would never want to be and to do things that most of us would never want to have to do in service to their country. Please take a moment today to stop and consider that fact and, if you feel so motivated, maybe send a donation to one of the many reputable non-profits who help those who returned with injuries from their service or the families of those who didn’t make it home.Follow and Contact Us
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