This medallion is worth one free drink


This is a commemorative coin representing the 89th Military Police Brigade. I got it today from Col. John M. Huey, the guy who literally wrote the book* updating detention operations protocol that hadn't been revised or modernized since the Vietnam era.

Normally, one gets these coins as a "Thank You" or "Good Job" gift. As my entire interaction with Col. Huey consisted of drinking his coffee while watching my friend Amanda Kim Stairrett interview him for the Killeen Daily Herald, I can only assume he just didn't want to make me feel left out when he gave coins to her and her photographer.

What does one do with a commemorative Army coin? According to Amanda, you carry it around with you. Turns out, these things really have monetary value, of sorts. Traditionally, the next time you see the guy who gave you the coin, he'll ask whether you still have it. If you can pull it out and show it to him, he has to buy you a drink**.

I'm not a military reporter, Col. Huey is about to be transferred, and I'm willing to bet he's already forgotten my name. That said, if I ever find myself having to travel to Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., I'm totally taking this coin with me, tracking him down and getting my drink.

*He had set book out on his desk. It's about four inches thick and bound with a zip tie.

**If you don't have it with you when they ask, you have to buy the drink.