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Green River honors veterans

Green River College hosted its 7th annual Challenge Coin Ceremony last Tuesday. The event honored nearly 50 students, faculty and staff, and local members of the Auburn community for their military service. Veterans of all generations were presented with a challenge coin that was redesigned by the Student Veterans Association earlier this year.

The tradition of the challenge coin dates back to World War I. A wealthy lieutenant had some coins made for his fellow pilots shortly before they deployed overseas. The coins featured some words of encouragement and the unit's insignia. The pilots were dispatched throughout Europe and many of them lost contact with each other, although most of them flew with their challenge coins in hand. Legend has it that one pilot, while out on a mission, was shot down behind enemy lines. He was able to evade several patrols due to his survival training and eventually made his way back to allied controlled territory. A French unit found him and asked that he submit some identification. The only possession he had left was his challenge coin, which he carried in a little leather pouch around his neck. The pilot presented the coin to the patrol caption and they promptly rewarded him with a bottle of wine.

Green River College acknowledges the service and sacrifice of all veterans past, present, and future.