Thanks to Jay Peterson, a tradition began in 2014, at the San Diego Reunion to hand out our Hotel 2/5 commemorative coin to all newcomers at our reunions. They are truly a great keepsake and honors our Veterans that served in Vietnam. It is awarded to each Hotel 2/5 Vietnam Veteran to express honor and admire their bravery, achievements, hard work, and excellence.
What is the purpose of this challenge coin? There are two-fold purposes. First, it is a coin that represents a very special group of men who served together and fought together at the forefront of the combat action in the Vietnam War from 1966 – 1971. This coin represents all the men who served in Hotel 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, serving at different times throughout the war but within the same unit, having the same experiences, hopes, and struggles, exhibiting the same pride and camaraderie as a Marine and Corpsman. This coin represents the belonging to, service, and dedication of our military unit. It is a symbol of commitment, morale, pride, and honor.
The second purpose of the military challenge coin is to have a beautiful metal coin that represents the coin bearer’s belonging to this Vietnam-era unit as an official combat veteran and has legitimate bragging rights. When faced with the challenge to show a unit coin or buy a round of drinks, always remember, this coin is good for three free rounds of drinks. One for being a Marine, one for being in combat, and the third for being a Vietnam Veteran.