The Carl Brashear Foundation wants to bring its namesake’s legacy home to the veterans center that soon will bear his name.
To accomplish that, the foundation is planning on giving each person who lives at the Radcliff Veterans Center a commemorative challenge coin. It serves as a reminder of Brashear.
The coin is inscribed with Brashear’s mantra, “It is not a sin to get knocked down, but it is a sin to stay down.”
The Radcliff Veterans Center is scheduled to be renamed Nov. 9 for Brashear, who was the first black man to be a master diver in the U.S. Navy. A native of Sonora, Brashear’s return to service after losing a leg in a diving mishap and his battle against racial discrimination were memorialized in the feature film “Men of Honor.”
The foundation is hoping to have 200 coins in time for the ceremony to give to the veterans center.
Tony Palm, the foundation’s special relations and development officer, said challenge coins today are a tangible source of pride for servicemen and women. He said they are presented to servicemembers in recognition of extraordinary efforts.
“Were (Brashear) alive, I’m pretty sure this is something he would want to do,” Palm said.
Each coin costs $25 and Palm said the foundation is looking for a donor to purchase a large amount of the coins. Donors will be recognized at the Nov. 9 ceremony, Palm said.
U.S. Army veteran Allan Francis is coordinating the coin project for the foundation. He’s confident they’ll reach their goal.
“I’m fast and furious and I want these coins by Nov. 9,” he said.
The veterans center has about 110 beds, but Francis said 200 coins ensures new residents receive a coin.