SPEEDWAY, Ind. — High school officials are looking for the Hoosier hero who owns a piece of military history left at a Speedway soccer field.
It’s called a challenge coin, and it is given to military members for outstanding service or to show their loyalty to a unit or deployment.
“Each unit sort of has its own identity, their own motto, slogans, flags, traditions, and so those coins tell that story,” said John Crosby with the American Legion. “They will have the squad stand in line. They will recognize the soldier by name, [and the] commander will salute, soldier will solute back, and they will transfer the coins in the palms of their hands.”
“From what I’m hearing, it’s one of the bigger ones that we know of,” Speedway High School Athletic Director Brian Avery said. “Hopefully, we can find the rightful owner. I’m sure he or she is wondering where it is.”
The coin was found last Friday by a member of the Sparkplugs Varsity Girls soccer team. Last week, the team hosted Shortridge and Tri West, so the owner could have connections to either of those schools as well.
The coin says “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” and states the years 2009 to 2010.
“This looks like an active duty unit. This belonged to an Iraqi Freedom Veteran,” said Crosby as he examined the coin. “‘Send me deeds, not words,’ that would be their unit’s slogan.”
While at a bar with fellow vets, a military personnel member can place their coin down, and whoever has the highest ranking coin drinks for free.
“If you don’t have your coin, you will be buying the drinks that evening,” Crosby said with a laugh.