General’s ‘coin’ ranks as thrill for Okinawa airman
Stars and Stripes March 24, 2008
Related article: Okinawa special ops unit seizes moment at exercise
DAEGU AIR BASE, South Korea — It’s official. Publish the orders: Airman 1st Class Stanley Dennis has been awarded some serious bragging rights.
His first “commander’s coin” came directly from the highest-ranking Air Force officer in South Korea.
It happened Thursday afternoon when Lt. Gen. Stephen G. Wood, commander of the 7th Air Force (Air Forces Korea) and the Air Component Command, flew from Osan Air Base for a visit.
Dennis, 22, an engine mechanic with the 353rd Special Operations Group out of Kadena Air Base on Okinawa, was one of more than 400 of the group’s airmen in Korea for a training exercise. He was one of the three aircraft mechanics in his squadron to get a coin, which commanders hand out as a token of acknowledgment.
“So it’s actually a big privilege to receive my first one from a three-star general,” he said. “Because everyone brags about how they received their coin. And I finally got my first one.”
Dennis and 22-year-old Airman 1st Class Christopher Consalvo were given the medals because they were the two youngest in the group to greet Wood. Tech. Sgt. Troy Oliver, 38, earned one for being the oldest.
Will Dennis e-mail his family and friends about what happened?
“Of course, of course,” he said. “My brother’s in the Army. I don’t know if he’ll ever meet a three-star general. If not, I’ll definitely have bragging rights. I’ll be bragging about it. Definitely.”