Lt. Sean Kent, a Military Police Officer and fourth generation member of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), started the Challenge Coin fundraiser in March 2018. It all came about one evening when he was home, feeling rather bored.
Lt. Kent said, “I am a collector of military challenge coins… and decided that I could create a challenge coin to raise money for a charity.”
And that is exactly what he did.
The charity Kent chose was Wounded Warriors Canada, because they provide support to both the CAF as well as First Responders. All profits from the sales go directly to Wounded Warriors Canada (WWC) to use for their programs.
Lt. Kent said, “WWC has multiple different programs that they run to assist veterans and emergency service personnel, (they) include a PTSD service dog program, group therapy, resiliency training, respite care, skills transition and research/education. The money raised from the sales of the coins can be used by WWC to help support any one of their above projects.”
So far Lt. Kent has already donated $5,000 to Wounded Warriors Canada and has now raised a further $4,000. He intends to make a $10,000 donation by this summer.
Lt. Kent designed the Challenge Coin himself.
“The whole idea of the coin is to remember our fallen heroes (whether it be soldiers or first responders). So the design I came up with was a soldier attending the grave site of his fallen comrades and showing his respect for their sacrifice by saluting their graves. My initial intent was to have a Canadian flag on the flag pole in the background, but due to the lack of detail that would have been able to be on the flag, it was decided to put the entire background as the Canadian Flag. The words around the front of the coin are simply there outlining the purpose behind the coin in that our heroes may be lost, but they are not forgotten,” he said.
The coins can be purchased even if people are not a coin collector. Lt. Kent has had many people buy the coins to give them to veterans to thank you for their service.
Last summer, he had the honour of presenting 21 of his coins to Veterans at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto. He was able to meet both the oldest and the youngest veterans there, the oldest was 105 years old and the youngest in his mid-seventies.
While there, he took the time to have coffee with them and chat.
“The one thing that stood out the most is that even after all the years of service and time spent away from the military the soldiers show their comradeship by poking fun at each other. It was a great honor for me to meet with these veterans and present them with a coin on behalf of the Canadians who purchased them to thank them for their service,” said Lt. Kent.
Lt. Kent also mentioned his experience speaking with ret’d Colonel Don Ethell. Col. Ethell served in the CAF for 38 years and was deployed on 14 peacekeeping missions around the world during his career.
“One of the interesting things that I was able to talk about with Colonel Ethell was about his deployment to Egypt as part of the Multi-National Force and Observers, as I had recently returned from the same deployment before I presented the coin to him,” said Lt. Kent.
Click here to email Lt. Kent regarding the Challenge Coins. He can also be found on Facebook and Instagram at Remembrance Coin.
For more information on Wounded Warriors Canada, click here.