Merlino & Gonzalez - February 2021

February 2021





This month, I asked Captain Thomas Morkan to write a letter to all of our readers. A 28-year veteran of the Coast Guard, Captain Morkan has an interesting take on many things. I was lucky enough to help him as he sold his old house and bought a new one. At the end of the process, he presented me with a challenge coin, a military tradition that I asked him to explain here. Thank you, Captain Morkan!

most “senior” coin on you in case of a “coin check.” Failing to produce a coin during a check carries a similar penalty as walking into a base bar with your hat on — you buy the other person a drink of their choice.

I hope you readers will enjoy this special edition of the newsletter as much as I have.

I collected many such coins during my time with the Coast Guard. They were passed to me in a handshake (as is tradition) over a

variety of occasions. When I was in Command, we had a unit coin that I would present to crewmembers as a form of quick recognition for a job well done. When I retired, I made up my own coins and have given them out to friends, family, and people I have served with. Pictures of the coin accompany this article, and as you can see each part of the coin reflects a different aspect of my time in service. It’s funny because writing down my service history in the limited space of this letter is difficult, but I’ve managed to get all of it on two sides of a coin! It all started back in 1991, after I graduated from college. I quickly knew my plan to become a stock broker wasn’t going to make me happy, and although my father told me that “a job is not necessarily something you like to do, it’s what you do to support your family,” I still thought I might be able to find something which provided me both, if not even more. So, I enlisted into the Coast Guard, completed basic training

I was flattered when Ken asked me to be featured in the newsletter. My experience with his firm was a very positive one, especially compared to other times I’ve bought or sold a home. Ken was always willing to take my calls and answer my questions through both the selling and buying process, and the entire office team was mindful of health and safety concerns. To recognize those efforts, I gave Ken a challenge coin that I designed myself to commemorate my time in the Service. In the military, challenge coins are given to recognize achievements, especially ones where a medal isn’t possible or warranted. One origin story says they began in World War I, when an Army Lieutenant made a group of medallions for the men in his unit. When he was captured by the Germans, his medallion was all he managed to keep with him, and after he escaped the prison, it was how the French recognized him as an ally and not a German spy to be executed. Today you might be given a challenge coin for all kinds of things, and you’re expected to keep your

Continued on Page 3 ...



Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4

Made with FlippingBook flipbook maker