The Challenge Coin
The Challenge Coin has a long tradition. A challenge coin is a small coin or medallion, bearing an organization’s insignia or emblem and is carried by the organization’s members. They are given to prove membership when challenged and to enhance morale. The PWCARES Challenge Coin logo was designed by David Lane, KG4GIY with the help of Symbol Arts, who also did the manufacture.
PWCARES Challenge Coin Wall of Honor
The Prince William County ARES®/RACES Challenge Coin was instituted in 2009 as a way of rewarding members of the cadre who have gone above and beyond the call of duty, or for those that have aided and promoted the cause of Amateur Radio. Anyone may be nominated to receive the Challenge Coin and the final award is at the Emergency Coordinator's discretion.
|Kathy Simmons, Prince William County Office of Emergency Management: Kathy has been awarded the inaugural coin for her outstanding and unflagging support of PWCARES since joining Prince William County. It is a Thank You that was long over due.|
|David Meola, KI4AZX: David built up and managed the successful 2009 Simulated Emergency Test exercise Where's Waldo almost single-handedly.|
|Linux Journal: The 2010 Linux Journal was focused on Amateur Radio. They are also hosting a virtual Ham Shack.|
|Steve Frick, N4OGR: Steve has consistently supported PWCARES for more than 10 years. In his own quiet way, he promotes ARES and a Amateur Radio to the members of the local community, served agencies and government leaders. His professionalism is so sublime, that it is almost overlooked. It is a Thank You for his past, present and future service that have long gone unsaid.|
|CW150 20 Hour Volunteers: From July 21 - 24, 2011, 45 Amateur Radio operators donated 776 hours assisting the City of Manassas with communications for the 150 remembrance of the First Battle of Manassas (Bull Run). All operators are thanked for their effort and these operators that donated more than 20 hours to the cause are awarded the Challenge Coin: Ray Hutt, AA4SI; Ron Doby, AE4RD; Rob McKinnie, AL7AW; Jay Hockstaine, K2YUB; Cameron Mackenzie, K6CLM; Bob Friend, KC4TNC; Dianne Lane, KI4FVV; Branch Moeling, KI4KEX; Trisha Wells, KI4PCM; Chris Allen, KI4POT; Justin Anderle, KJ4LAS; Rob Williams, KJ4LWN; Ivan Venuchekov, WB4DTD; Darala Doby, WB4USA; Brian Cochran, WC4J.|
|Brian Cochran, WC4J: As an Official Observer, Net Manager, tinkerer and ARES member, Brian has supported ARES and Amateur Radio in a number of ways, acting as cheerleader, operator, and watchdog, ensuring better operations, and creating better operators.|
|Chuck Helverson, KA3EHL: As president of the Woodbridge Wireless Amateur Radio Club, Chuck has encouraged the membership to follow his lead. From introducing new technologies, like FlDigi, to participating in community, and ARES activities, he has shown that there is always something new to learn in this hobby.|
|George Tarnovsky, K4GVT: As president of the Ole Virginia Hams Amateur Radio Club, George has strived to improve the relations between Amateur Radio and the general pubic, including arguing against BPL, improving the club, and raising visibility of Amateur Radio and its capabilities in the community in general.|
|Terry McCarty, WA5NTI: Terry single-handedly drove the intial contact and program creation for the 4H/Amateur Radio classes and informational sessions. From introducing young people to Amateur radio at the Prince William Fair, to the Youth Lounge at the Manassas Hamfest, Terry has been invloved in every aspect of the program is responsible for its great success.|
|Gavin Saul, KK4MXT: By inspiring the S.A.L.T 4H Amateur Radio program, Gavin has shared his love of Amateur Radio by introducing a whole new generation to the hobby, exposing them to all facets and making it fun to be a “ham.”|
|Kristin Saul: Through the S.A.L.T 4H Amateur Radio program, Kristin has introduced a whole new generation to the hobby, exposing them to all facets and making it fun to be a “ham.”|
|Robert Saul, KK4MXU: Through the S.A.L.T 4H Amateur Radio program, Robert has shared his love of Amateur Radio by introducing a whole new generation to the hobby, exposing them to all facets and making it fun to be a “ham.”|
As the legend goes, a wealthy lieutenant, ordered small, solid-bronze medallions (or coins) struck, which he then presented to the other pilots in his squadron as mementos of their service together. The coin was gold-plated, bore the squadron’s insignia, and was quite valuable. One of the pilots in the squadron, who had never owned anything like the coin, placed it in a leather pouch he wore around his neck for safekeeping.
A short while later, this pilot’s aircraft was heavily damaged by ground fire (other sources claim it was an aerial dogfight), forcing him to land behind enemy lines and allowing him to be captured by the Germans. The Germans confiscated the personal belongings from his pockets, but they didn’t catch the leather pouch around his neck. On his way to a permanent prisoner of war facility, he was held overnight in a small German-held French village near the front. During the night, the town was bombarded by the British, creating enough confusion to allow the pilot to escape.
The pilot avoided German patrols by donning civilian attire, but all of his identification had been confiscated so he had no way to prove his identity. With great difficulty, he crept across no-man’s land and made contact with a French patrol. Unfortunately for him, the French had been on the lookout for German saboteurs dressed as civilians. The French mistook the American pilot for a German saboteur and immediately prepared to execute him.
Desperate to prove his allegiance and without any identification, the pilot pulled out the coin from his leather pouch and showed it to his French captors. One of the Frenchmen recognized the unit insignia on the coin and delayed the execution long enough to confirm the pilot’s identity.
Once the pilot safely returned to his squadron, it became a tradition for all members to carry their coin at all times. To ensure compliance, the pilots would challenge each other to produce the coin. If the challenged couldn’t produce the coin, he was required to buy a drink of choice for the challenger; if the challenged could produce the coin, the challenger would purchase the drink.