Patient Referral

Veterans at End-of-Life to Receive Crossroads Challenge Coin

challenge coin crossroads hospice

As National Veteran and Military Families Month gets underway, Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care is rolling out its new Military Challenge Coin. Beginning this month, all patients receiving end-of-life care who served in the U.S. Armed Services will receive a Crossroads Challenge Coin.

Passion for Veterans was articulated early in Crossroads’ nearly 30-year company history and leaders are proud of the thousands of Veterans they have honored and thanked for their service since.

At Crossroads, it is the chaplains who lead Veteran recognition, which is part of a patient’s integrated care plan. While our Crossroads non-denominational chaplains each have their own styles and personal lived histories, several of them Veterans themselves, they are universally committed to honoring the Veterans Crossroads cares for.  This is reinforced and endorsed by the top of the organization.

Until now, we have presented a nice certificate and pin to Veteran patients. But moving forward they will receive the Crossroads Challenge Coin.

The idea for a Crossroads military challenge coin was first proposed by a graduate student intern pursuing a Master of Social Work. She thought a challenge coin would be more meaningful to Veterans and their families than the certificate and pin and that a challenge coin would also be a keepsake for families.

veteran receiving challenge coin

Veterans Remember when they Received their Challenge Coins

Most Veterans remember when and where they received their challenge coins and many Veterans will share that their coins mean a lot to them. But challenge coins have never officially been sanctioned. There are myths around their origin and debate about their true history.

There’s evidence that they have been around for 100 years but challenge coins really began growing in popularity in the 90s and that has continued into recent years. They say that if the words “Coin Check” are said in a bar, the last person to produce his or her challenge coin is the one that buys the first round of drinks.

In mid-October at its Kansas City location, Crossroads held a special Challenge Coin Unveiling and Veterans Recognition ceremony.  While Crossroads patients will be receiving the Challenge Coin beginning this month, Crossroads employees who are themselves Veterans were honored by being the first to receive the new Challenge Coin.

Crossroads’ ceremony included a Junior Army ROTC Color Guard from a nearby high school as well as first responders and patriotic entertainment.  Chaplains received special recognition for their role in honoring and thanking Veterans. 

challenge coin ceremony

Rising to the Challenge of Honoring Veterans 

Chaplain Clark Smith of Crossroads in Lenexa, KS invited each employee Veteran to introduce themselves at the ceremony and share where and when they served in the military before he presented them with the Crossroads Challenge Coin with the traditional palm handshake.

According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, “the VA purchases, provides or refers for hospice care to more than 20,000 Veterans each year.  This figure is anticipated to grow as the Veteran population grows.”

After Chaplain Clark honored Crossroads’ employee Veterans with the very first Challenge Coins, he quoted actor Jack Nicholson in the film A Few Good Men, You rose to the challenge of serving us, we rise to the challenge of honoring you.

The new Crossroads Challenge Coin for patients receiving end-of-life care heralds a new day in Crossroads’ long tradition of thanking, honoring and recognizing Veterans and their families.

To learn more about how Crossroads supports Veterans at end of life, visit our website or call us at 1-888-564-3405.


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