First, an update:
I have talked to some distant family, and they are supposed to have some records and information about my great-grandfather and his military service. They say it will take a bit of looking to find them, but that they will get back to me. So, one quest is on hold. Thanks to all who helped, and thanks to JPG for the new angle.
Now, for a second quest; This one is not as close to me as the first. Actually, this one is just an attempt to find out "what I got".
I recently bought some coins at a local flea market. That is all I know for sure about them. However, I did ask and they came with the following story: The gentleman selling the coins bought them from a Chinese fellow in the import business. He was told that "someone" put coins in boxes and sent them with the pallets of "stuff" he was importing.
Below is a photo of the front and back of one of them. I have links to the others so those with slower connections are not overloaded. I know from site meter that I have folks visit here from China on occasion. I do not know if the visitors are native or not, and it really doesn't matter. It is my hope that they, or someone else, can help me identify the coins. They are all the same size, and are about the size of a U.S. silver dollar. They appear to be silver.
I bought them "just 'cause". If they are completely worthless, so be it. For the price I paid the kids can play with them..
The others can be seen by following the links:
Coin #1 front
Coin #1 back
Coin #2 front
Coin #3 front
Coin #3 back
Coin #4 front
Coin #4 back
Coin #5 front
Coin #5 back
Coin #6 front
Coin #6 back
Edited to add: I have done a little research, and found out that these coins are called Chinese Dragon Coins. The one in the photo is a Yuan.