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Stolen Challenge Coins and the Man who Made Things Right

Veteran Mark Schildknecht had just read that challenge coins that were once placed on the grave of fellow veteran Marvin G Shields had been stolen. He was saddened to hear that such a thing could happen. He immediately sprung into action, dressed himself in his Marine uniform and drove to Gardiner Cemetery. It was there that he placed one of his own challenge coins onto Shields’s grave. Although Mr. Schildknecht could not replace the challenge coins that had been placed there over the years, he just wanted to do something to make things right.


Marvin G Shields was killed in 1965 while on a mission. Mr. Shields was a true Hero, he lost his life while saving his comrades. He was only 25 years old when he died and was awarded the Medal of Honor. He was the only member of the Navy Construction Battalion to receive this medal.


Every Veterans Day Shield’s death is commemorated and honored. This is usually when the challenges coins are placed. Schildknecht is aware of the hero that Shields was and said this about him, “The man was one of our real heroes”. Mr. Schildknecht was being modest, he is a war hero as well. He also is a honor guard and has had the opportunity to play at some of the ceremonies that have paid tribute to Shields in the past.


This is what Challenge Coins are all about. They are rewarded to remarkable people. Because Mr. Schildknecht was bestowed a challenge coin, he was able to unselfishly return honor and valor back to Mr. Shield’s grave and ultimately right a wrong.




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