Ray Ladurini, Master Sergeant of the US Air Force and local Firefighter for the Marco Island Fire Rescue Department, recently returned home from duty served in Iraq. At the last City Council meeting he presented Chief Murphy and Division Chief Chris Byrne, a flag flown during Operation Iraqi Freedom at Fire Station 1 at Kirkuk Air Force Base on August 17th, 2010. It symbolizes freedom and bears witness to the destruction of terrorist forces in the United States. Ray proceeded with a presentation of the Tradition of the Coin, a military practice. Ray explained, “The tradition of the coin comes from World War I, when an American pilot got knocked down in enemy territory. He put on a German soldier’s uniform and made his way back across the lines. The French caught him, but they didn’t understand his English so they were going to put him in front of the firing line. He gave them an American coin and it is the only thing that saved him. In the tradition of the Air Force, we give coins to the people that have taken care of us.” He then presented a coin to Chief Murphy and Division Chief Byrne, recognizing their support during his tour of duty.
Tradition of the Coin
By Val Simon