The custom of the Omaha veteran lives on by way of particular cash
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – At the start of a new year, a local tradition is passed down from one veteran to another.
And one family believes that our soldiers are protected when they are stationed abroad.
“I wish Pat was here to do this because he’s doing better than me.”
Pat Peterson found the coin while serving as a U.S. Marine during the Vietnam War.
It was the year he graduated from Holy Name High School in Omaha in 1966.
He came home alive, so it became his lucky coin. Over the years, Pat Peterson carried this story over to others who were about to deploy.
“He would give it to them on condition – they had to bring it back,” said Teresa.
And they did, 7 times the Mint left Nebraska and 7 times it came back.
Dave Schoenagle was the last to return home with the family in 2019.
“It was an honor to wear the coin. And carry on Pat’s tradition. It hurts a little to give it back, ”said Dave.
With Pat Peterson no longer alive, longtime partner Teresa Burks continued the tradition.
“He would be so proud. He would love that. Especially when I go to a dear friend, ”said Teresa.
With the pressures of COVID, Teresa passed the coin on to longtime friends Bill and Laurie Watson, who wanted to visit their son Paul on vacation in Colorado Springs.
“I’ve known Paul since he was a baby.”
Days later it would be a virtual ceremony.
Paul Watson is posted to Afghanistan every day.
“Honestly, Teresa – that means a lot to me. Vietnam vets were really important to special forces, ”said Paul.
This green beret will be the 8th to carry the coin overseas.
“How many places this coin has been is pretty amazing. To keep up the tradition – this coin has seen many things. If it could talk, it would have some good stories, ”Paul said.
Teresa wanted to make sure the pandemic didn’t get in the way of the coin.
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