MALVERN, Ark. — Two local veterans are raising thousands to support the front-line soldiers fighting for Ukraine. They are doing so by combining a long celebrated military tradition and memes.

Douglas Barnett and Jonathan “Monty” Montgomery both work for the post office in Malvern. They also served in Iraq, and couldn’t bear watching the devastation from the sidelines believing they could do more.

“We can’t physically go over there. What can we do to help?” asked Monty, a National Guard veteran who toured two tours in Iraq.

Putting their heads together, the two Malvern postmen are shipping what may be the biggest deliveries of their lives. The cargo is traveling to countries near and far auctioning for $100 to over $1,500. And what possibly could have that value?

“It’s a cartoon dog decked out with an AK and an AT4 anti-tank weapon,” Monty described. “500 years from now some Archeologist will find one of these coins and be like what is this? What is this thing.”

An idea like that could only come from online. The group NAFO (North Atlantic Fellas Organization) operates on Twitter to stomp out Russian propaganda. People who donate to Ukraine nonprofits, such as St. Javelin where Monty and Doug got their start, get their own Shiba Inu avatar. Tens of thousands are part of the movement all across the world.

“We thought how can we bring this into the physical? How can we bring it into the real world?”, Monty said.

Jonathan Montgomery and Douglas Barnett are both Iraq veterans. Many of their decorations came pocket-sized.

“They have stories”, Douglas Barnett described, showing off his collection of “challenge coins” he received as part of his time with the 101 Airborne Division. Some are for specific acts of valor. “If I were to lose that I don’t know if there’s any way to replace it,” Doug said.

Since the Roman Empire, “challenge coins” have been a military mark of excellence, so Doug and Monty funded the creation of 100, each numbered to give them a sense of uniqueness.

Through Monty’s Twitter account, they auctioned 90 of the 100 to the highest bidder. 10 were reserved for Doug, Monty, founders of NAFO, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and a European reporter who the two men have listened to stay informed during the war.

The over $15,000 raised is being sent to the Georgian Legion, a volunteer soldier force from a dozen countries including America under the control of the Ukrainian Army.

“They don’t really have government support, so they rely on charity and donations,” Doug stated.

The coins are now in the hands of supporters from at least 9 countries, including US Congressman and Lt Col Adam Kinzinger. Each coin makes sure everything from a spare tire, to medical kits, drones, bulletproof vests, etc. arrives to freedom fighters right on time and with care.

“We don’t want to hear anybody say I can’t do anything, I can’t help. You can always do something,” Monty urged.

The NAFO challenge coins were such a success, the Georgia Legion asked Doug and Monty to make coins for their troops. 100 will be auctioned and 30 will go into the hands of soldiers.

 “If we can save one Ukrainian civilian’s life, one Ukrainian soldier’s life, then all this would be worth it,” Monty concluded.