Hello again folks!
Today, I want to share my 2019 West Point Reverse Proof penny. As you can see, it's certainly a tribute to "Honest Abe" Lincoln, our 16th U.S. President. I didn't know him personally, but I wonder how honest he really was. My definition of honesty is that it's a moral trait that EVERYONE should have in their toolbox i.e the opposite of lying. When I was growing up, if my mama caught me in a lie, I promptly received a "A$$ Whooping"! Afterwards she would explain to me why NOT telling the truth was wrong. This is a trait that has never steered me wrong and in my opinion that ALL leaders should have and exercise at ALL times. It should be a part of your moral character and will make you a better person in the long run.
This penny is beautifully struck and it's fitting that it was struck at the West Point mint. After careful examination, I gave it a high grade of MS-67. There are no blemishes or bag marks and the field is smooth and crystal clear as a reverse proof should be. It's the highest grade I've ever given a coin in my collection, due to the fact that I'm still learning. The shield on the reverse is error free as is the lettering. I also love the deep cameo appearence of the bust of honest Abe's head on the obverse. Did I mention that there's a military academy at West Point? In my younger days, it's where our "butter bars" came from. We called them "shake and bake" leaders.
Right after I became a Sergeant, I was given the task of Range NCO. This was the person who was in charge of the unit while it was on the shooting range. There are several things you need to know to perform this task efficiently. You had to know the weapon and the ammunition, how to load and clear the weapon. You also had to know how to clear the range. "Ready on the left, ready on the right, ready on the firing line!" Our range was approximately 5 kilometers from our barracks. After we had finished at the range, it was getting late in the day. I was in charge of marching the enlisted personnel off of the range to the 5-Ton trucks that were waiting to take us back to the barracks. First Lieutenant Hardaway drove by in his jeep and yelled at me to double time the formation. I knew the rules on the range and one of them was NO RUNNING, so I refused his order. He stopped me and told me that in retaliation, the formation would have to double time the 5 kilometers back to the barracks after we got off of the range and that he would see me in the commander's office when we got back. In the commander's office I told the truth of what had happened. He dismissed Lt. Hardaway and told me to remain. He told me that I had done the right thing and that he would be talking to Lt. Hardaway later. The TRUTH had saved me from disciplinary measures this day! I was thinking about this story as I slabbed "Honest Abe" this morning. Not only do you have to be true to other folks, it's imperative that you also be true to yourself.
Less than a year after the above happened, they sent me to the NCO Academy at Bad Tolz, Germany to learn how to be a NCO. That's another whole different story! Never in my life has this country needed leadership than it does today. I'll just leave you with this saying that I learned at the Academy: Lead, Follow, or get the hell out of the way! Until next time my friends, stay SAFE, healthy and coronavirus FREE ! Enjoy the specimen :-)
Charlie aka slybluenote