River Rats Bottle Opener Challenge Coin
The original challenge coin was designed by J.D. Franks and Dave Gray with input from other Langley pack members in 1985. Their outstanding coin design symbolizes key elements of that era and paid homage to the beginnings of the River Rats in Vietnam. The Billy Sparks Kentuckiana Pack was tasked with making an updated version of the River Rats Challenge Coin in honor of our 50th anniversary. Reflecting the broader membership of the River Rats today, our goal in updating the challenge coin was to incorporate elements from all services, signifying the solidarity of our mission, history, and traditions of the River Rats.
About the Bottle Opener Challenge Coin
The idea behind having a River Rat bottle opener challenge coin is to promote the fun and camaraderie that the River Rats have at the local TC's and reunions. The updated bottle opener style coin is two-inches round, with in a matted silver finish and smooth edge.
Front of the Coin
Displayed on the front of the coin is the Red River Valley Fighter Pilot Association shield and banner, encircled by the motto:
WE WHO CAME HOME, MUST NEVER FORGET THOSE WHO COULD NOT
Back of the Coin
The back of the coin features the following symbolic elements:
The lower area has an opening with tab to be used to open your favorite beverage - you’re already having fun!
A nickel at the top left position, representing the “Throw a Nickel on the Grass” tradition for those who have gone before us
The POW/MIA ribbon in the top center, with the yellow outline
The phrase “Check 6” sits at the upper right
The dots along the top arc represent the tap code used by the POWs to communicate with each other, spelling out one of the standard yet powerful sign-offs: GBU (God Bless You)
The bottom arc is the Shakespeare saying which binds us altogether: “WE FEW, WE HAPPY FEW, WE BAND OF BROTHERS"
River Rats Challenge Coin Rules
In keeping with the tradition of the original River Rat challenge coin, the rule is that “If coined, you have 5 seconds to produce your coin or you buy a round of drinks. If you manage to produce your coin within 5 seconds, then the person initiating the challenge would buy the round”.
Obtaining Your Coin
The minimum accepted donation for one bottle opener challenge coin is $15. Your donation covers the cost of shipping and handling (Coins are $10.00 in person). Additional coins can be acquired for a donation of $10.00 per coin. Donations greater than the minimum required amount are greatly appreciated.
1) To purchase your coin online, use this link:
2) Make checks payable to “Kentuckiana River Rats” and send to following address:
Billy Sparks Kentuckiana Pack
7716 Cambridge Ct.
Crestwood, KY 40014
If you have any questions, contact:
Craig “Pontiff” Pope
Billy Sparks Kentuckiana Pack LFC