There is some exciting news relating to the work of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, including opportunities for everyone who has patriotic inclinations. One of these opportunities has to be acted on within the next three weeks, so it will be highlighted first.
Established in 1999 with the specific mission of supporting our living recipients and perpetuating a legacy of courage, sacrifice and patriotism, the foundation has three major projects under way.
IN EARLY 2011 the official Medal of Honor commemorative coin was created. The U.S. Mint produces this coin, available in silver or gold. The following is the official description.:
“In celebration of the 150th anniversary of establishment of the Medal of Honor by an Act of Congress signed into law by Abraham Lincoln in December 1861, Congress last year passed an Act directing the U.S. Mint to strike two commemorative coins – a $1 silver coin and a $5 gold coin that will be available in 2011 only. These coins are legal tender and not in circulation, and feature images symbolizing the values embodied in the Medal of Honor – a reminder of having the courage to do the right thing and to think of others before oneself.
“For more information about the Medal of Honor commemorative coins visit www.usmint.gov. Coins may be purchased directly online from the U.S. Mint.”
One caution. These coins must be ordered by Dec. 16. Those coins not sold will be melted down. The mint will never make them available again. They make great keepsakes, especially for children, grandchildren and
great-grandchildren. My wife and I have just purchased silver coins ($59.95 each) for our five grandchildren, and will give the coins to them as Christmas presents this year. The silver coin is 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper. It weighs 26.7 grams, or about 0.94 ounces.
Perhaps the easiest way to purchase these coins is by calling (800) 872-6468. Be sure to have your credit card ready. This U.S. Mint telephone line is open seven days a week.
THE MOST SUCCESSFUL project of the foundation has been the book. Medal of Honor, by Peter Collier, was published by Workman Publishing in 2003. Now well past the 300,000 mark, it was recently published in a third edition. This edition highlights the life stories of the living recipients, including two of the most recent ones, Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta and Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry. It is available on Amazon.com at a deep discount. It makes a marvelous gift for a family member, a veteran, someone on active duty or any young person looking for a role model.
The following is a review from amazon.com: “I just received this today and gave it to my husband as an anniversary gift. He loves history, the military channel, and all that stuff. The book is absolutely gorgeous, and the bonus DVD was a surprise … . This book is a must-have, and would make a wonderful holiday gift for anyone in your life. Get it.”
If anyone would like to get five copies or more, please feel free to contact me directly. Since I was the editor of the book, I would be pleased to autograph and personalize each copy. You can swing by my house to pick up the books. Please call ahead of time at (706) 399-9754.
The third major program of the foundation is the character development program. This highly interactive program is designed for middle schools and high schools. The curriculum uses the life stories of our living Medal of Honor recipients to highlight specific admirable character traits. This program is available at no cost to anyone interested, including those who home-school their children. It is already being used extensively throughout Alabama, Pennsylvania and Colorado.
PLEASE CHECK WITH the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation at www.cmohfoundation.org. Once you are on the web page, click on “Educational Outreach,” and it will take you to the character development program.
If you have questions on any of these programs, please contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(The writer, a retired U.S. Air Force major general, is the president of the board of trustees of the Augusta Museum of History and secretary of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. He also serves on the board of the Augusta Warrior Project.)