All DU volunteers are remarkable for the countless hours they devote to raising funds for DU's wetlands and waterfowl conservation mission. But within DU's exceptional volunteer community there are individuals who have taken the volunteer spirit a step further. They are the men and women of the U.S. armed forces, who protect the freedoms that all Americans cherish. We owe them our gratitude, not only for supporting DU but also for their service to our great nation.

Ducks Unlimited's Pentagon chapter is run mainly by men and women who are either active-duty or retired U.S. military personnel. In addition to protecting our country and preserving our freedoms, they run a very successful DU fundraising dinner each year. For each of the past five years, the Pentagon chapter dinner has raised more than $120,000 for DU, while achieving an efficiency ratio of more than 80 percent.

At the most recent Pentagon chapter event, held on Sept. 17, 2011, DU Regional Director Peter Churchbourne had the honor of presenting each committee member who serves in the U.S. military with a DU Challenge Coin as a small token of our appreciation for their service and sacrifice. These volunteers are truly a special breed.