Sgt. Maj. Julia Henry (center), senior enlisted advisor of the Exchange’s Europe/SW Asia Region, hands out challenge coins to Air Force Veterans Master Sgt. (retired) Richard Rhodes (left), and Senior Master Sgt. George Labbay (right) in honor of Veterans Day at the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center Exchange in Germany Nov. 11. (courtesy photo)

In Recognition Of: Exchanges Around the World Honors Veterans With Special Coins

Military resale united this week to salute our Nation’s Veterans with special In Recognition Of tributes online and a challenge coin giveaway in stores.

The joint event was a first for military resale in honor of Veterans Day. The Army & Air Force Exchange Service, Navy Exchange Service Command, Marine Corps Exchange, Coast Guard Exchange and Defense Commissary Agency worked together to show all who served how much they are appreciated.

On Veterans Day, all who have worn our Nation’s uniform were eligible to receive a free challenge coin at Exchange main stores around the world. Physical distancing was maintained to ensure a safe, sanitized, secure event during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center Exchange at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, Sgt. Maj. Julia Henry, senior enlisted advisor of the Exchange’s Europe/SW Asia Region, handed out the coins, thanking Veterans while laughing and swapping stories.

“This is just another way we honor those who were part of the one percent that raised their right hand to serve their country,” Henry said. “I love being able to recognize our Veterans and hearing their stories.”

George Labbay, a retired Air Force Sen. Master Sgt. from Lisbon, Maine, was happy to receive his coin.

“Being overseas, even though we’re Veterans, we don’t see a lot of recognition-type of events as you would in the states,” Labbay said. “Having this coin, is a great way to pay tribute to Veterans.”

Retired Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Lee Arnold spent 29 years serving his country and enjoys seeing events that honor Veterans.

“This is fantastic,” Arnold said. “When you leave the service, you don’t lose the memories so it’s nice to be understood‒ to be appreciated.”

Receiving the challenge coin meant a lot to retired Air Force Master Sgt. Richard Rhodes as well.

“I think it’s pretty special the Exchange honors Veterans,” he said. “The coin is a small token of appreciation and I’m thankful the Exchange does something like this to recognize its Veterans.”

Other In Recognition events included a virtual events on the military resale organization’s Facebook pages‒a special “Chief Chat” series with Medal of Honor recipients; tribute concerts from Andy Grammer, Craig Morgan, Big Boi and other artists; and a Test Your Strength plank challenge for authorized shoppers.

Send us your photos! Share photos of your store’s In Recognition Of challenge coin giveaway for our Flickr album. Send high-res jpegs to exchangepost@aafes.com, and we will include them for all to see.

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2 Comments

  1. Gary Raby on November 18, 2020 at 1:56 pm

    need 300 of these coins because of the disable veteran in home around in kansas .I want to make sure thay all get theres. My address is Retired Master Chief USN Military Gift Shop 412 Delaware ST. Leavenworth,Ks.66048 Owner

    • Lisa Ferguson on November 18, 2020 at 2:45 pm

      Thank you for your inquiry, Mr. Raby. These coins were available in very limited quantities and were all disseminated at Exchange stores on the day of the event. Thank you and the Veterans very much for your service.

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