Along with the Texas Borders Bar & Grill logo, the front of the coin bares the insignia "To Our Friends We Proudly Serve". It is designed to foster a higher sense of comradery between coin holders, but also acts as a reminder that service to one's friends, family and countrymen is the greatest of all honors.
"Restaurants, hotels, entertainment and various other business industries have been grouped under the term "Service Industry". Some of us take that label a lot more seriously than others,", says Texas Borders owner, Kellie Messer. "At Texas Borders we realize that our commitment to service is what makes us stand out in the community. We not only heavily advocate a highly developed sense of service to our staff when interacting with our customers and one another, but also to our customers when interacting with one another within our community. Serving your family, community, state, country, etc. is truly the greatest honor one can hold."
With this commitment to service in mind Kellie's key staff approached her about creating the "Texas Borders Brigade". The members of the brigade are presented with a beautifully crafted coin that is emblematic of what has been legendarily used in military units for generations (possibly as far back as World War I).
The most widely accepted legend is that of a downed Army Air Corp pilot that was trapped behind enemy lines and taken prisoner by the Germans. He was stripped of all of his belongings, but they failed to notice the leather pouch on his neck which held a medallion that had been given to his unit to commemorate their service together. Managing to escape (following a British Raid) he disguised himself as German civilian and made his way through the countryside until he was captured by a French Patrol who thought him to be a German saboteur and prepared to be immediately executed. His only identification was this coin which he desperately presented as proof of his being an ally. One of the French soldiers immediately recognized the unit's insignia that was engraved on the coin and held off the execution long enough to verify his identity with the U.S. Army Air Corp. Since then the coin has been used to "check" an individuals membership in a game-like fashion by being required to carry the coin at all times and randomly challenging all members of that unit to present their coins.
There are also many rules to playing the game and they vary greatly from unit to unit. The Texas Border Brigade has adopted some of the most popular and standard rules for their coin:
- The tradition of the "challenge" is used to ensure that all members are carrying their coin.
- The challenge, (which can be made at any time), begins with the challenger drawing his/her coin, and slapping or placing the coin on the table or bar.
- Accidentally dropping a challenge coin is considered to be a deliberate challenge to all present.
- Everyone being challenged must immediately produce the coin for their organization and anyone failing to do so must buy a round of drinks for the challenger and everyone else who has their challenge coin.
- Should everyone challenged be able to produce their coin, the challenger must buy a round of drinks for the group.
"We feel that this is a great way to instill a true sense of belonging to our loyal customers, as well as serve as a constant reminder to our dedication to service of them and of the Katy, TX community", asserts Kellie. "Anywhere you look on our coin you will find an affirmation of our commitment to service...And its not just something that is valid only within the confines of our restaurant. We want our community to know that no matter where they are in the world, that they are always at Texas Borders in mind and spirit. We love them, miss them and look forward to seeing them again. The opportunity to serve them is what makes us successful. It is what makes any business or organization successful! We utilized the challenge coin to honor what we feel is the most significant service that any of us can take on...service to our country in the armed forces. This is a huge military tradition and we know our service members and veterans can appreciate being able to play this game with their fellow community residents."
"In the wake of the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 it is difficult to forget the incredible dedication to service that the United States citizens, public servants and service members are capable of. Texas Borders is simply honored to be a part of keeping that commitment to service "front-of-mind"
The Texas Border Brigade also is expanding the benefits to coin holders to include "tax-free" patronage of Texas Borders Bar & Grill and member only specials. This is a great example of how a local entrepreneur's creativity and commitment is improving the morale of its patrons and community while also solidifying its brand.
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Texas Borders Bar and Grill will be featured in the upcoming documentary "SMB Power". They can be found at: http://www.texasborders.net