My friend, Valerie Seitz, arrived on-island from Luke Air Force Base two weeks ago. I was her sponsor - responsible for telling her how to prepare for Kadena, collecting her when she arrived, and helping her to get around and assimilated - as well as getting in-processed. I haven't been the best of sponsors, but I was better than the one that I had when I came over. Last week Valerie went to the Base Newcomer's Briefing, and, as a part of that process, newcomers are encouraged to write about their sponsors - and the one who gets the best write-up is recognized at the following week's briefing.
Well, lucky me, because Valerie can really write! Today I was recognized as the Sponsor of the Week and given one of the base commander's special commemorative coins. Our General is off-island for a few weeks, so mine was presented by a stand-in colonel - but, it is the General's coin - and that is a really big deal for me! I have worked for the military just over six years, and this was the first time that I have been "coined."
The process for presenting the coin is very unique - it is passed to the recipient in a handshake!
Most field grade commanders (majors and above) have their own special coins that they give out. My friend, John the Chef, at the British Wine and Tea Shop, brazenly asks his customers if they have a coin for him. He has quite a nice collection - but he won't get mine! Most of the commanders have their own unique design for their coins.
The hospital at Luke Air Force Base actually sold its commemorative coins to those who wanted one - $5,00 each. That's just not right!
I understand that President Obama even has his own coins for special recognitions - but I won't hold my breath waiting on that to happen!
Boone, this one will go to you. Now I need to figure out how to score a couple more for your cousins!