Military gift ideas
Any military person will enjoy a gift arising from ideas long considered
It was ragtag colonials who during the birthing of a free America fought legions of red-coated British soldiers. These colonial farmers and merchants and blacksmiths knew little of intricate military operations. They knew how to throw rocks. They knew how to use slingshots. They fired guns from behind leafy bushes. It was hit and run. Appropriate military gift ideas for them might have included a packet of smoked beef or a tin or tobacco. The military gift ideas jawed about by family and friends usually resulted in gifts that were similarly primitive—useful things such as blankets, woolen hats, leather goods and tobacco pouches.
Today, things are different and high tech when it comes to war. Military gift ideas for a man or woman today might incorporate items useful in the sweltering heat of Iraq or the craggy, mountainous terrain of Afghanistan—or things to be presented when these military folks come home. Some of the best military gift ideas evolve into memorable gifts presented after homecoming. Some men and women returning from action take pride in displaying military flags, regiment flags and other triangle-folded collectible banners in highly polished wooden display cases. These flag cases look more like glass-topped shadow boxes in a construction that makes them indistinguishable from a fine corner table—and just right for showing off well deserved honors.
Ask what is precious to them
Another of the many military gift ideas with long-term appeal will please those who collect souvenirs during the time they spend time abroad. Whether at home in the living room or on the deck of a ship, those who keep coins, medals and medallions will appreciate a well built and nicely polished display case to show off their challenge coins, and the like. The units look like an end table but feature a lid. The cases always make a hit when presented to military personnel who have returned home and want to show off their special keepsakes.
Think small when giving gifts
If your serviceman or servicewoman still has a hefty period of time to serve away from home, there are many military gift ideas that will bring the comforts of home a little closer. Not many overseas would turn away a tin of their favorite coffee. A coffee canister is air tight and easy to ship. And a quick pick-me-up is one of the most welcome benefits of coffee. Military gift ideas may also lead to sending tins of tea bags or single-serving coffee portions.
Military gift ideas for those away from home should take into consideration the fact that space usually is lacking in barracks and military offices where every inch is filled by items whose use is imperative for safety or security. Large items that are nice but difficult to transport should be avoided. Depending upon where your loved one is deployed, think small when it comes to military gift ideas.
• Travel size containers of mouthwash
• Small tubes of antibiotic cream
• Sticks of deodorant
• Tins of hard candy or chewing gun
• Music CDs or movie DVDs
• Packs of sanitary wet wipes
• Plastic bottles of sunscreen
• Fly swatters and bug repellant
Before whittling down a likely list of military gift ideas into a suitable number of items that seem ideal, check the Web sites for the branch of service in which your loved one serves. The five branches of the military—the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard—have much in common but each may have specific recommendations as to what military gift ideas are good ones—and what objects are prohibited. Detailed tips about wrapping, packaging and shipping also can be had from the United States Postal Service or private shippers.
Think out of the box
Let the imagination fly when thinking about military gift ideas. Do some online research. There may be a charitable project going on that enables donors to contribute anything from airline miles—so a service person can fly home for a visit—to prepaid cards bearing values to cover phone minutes for those stationed overseas. A gift of something as simple as a web cam may bring the faces of a soldier’s family members to a computer screen thousands of miles away. The colonists used their imagination when they devised ways of making the redcoats hightail it out of town. Let your imagination fly, too.