Kalynne May Arrick of Tyler received a challenge coin from President Barack Obama in honor of her older brother, Marine Sgt. Kenneth May, who was killed serving in Afghanistan in 2010, during Obama's stop at Wynkoop Brewing Co. yesterday in Denver. (See the YouTube video in the slideshow to the left of this story.)
Recent photos have caught President Obama exchanging challenge coins with military personnel during a “secret handshake” that is a revered moment for photojournalists to capture.
The “secret handshake” exchange of the “challenge coins” is a longstanding military tradition in which the U.S. president tucks one of the small medallions into the palm of his hand to give to a stone-faced Marine or military member.
In May, photojournalists managed to capture the secret exchange between Obama and two military servicemen in consecutive days, according to an AOL.com report. Just moments after the president landed at the Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas, longtime Associated Press photographer Susan Walsh snapped a photo of Obama handing a challenge coin to Col. Patrick Rhatigan, a commander of the 19th Airlift Wing.