Salute a Soldier: 8 Vital Gift Ideas For Veterans

It is customary and common to offer a perfunctory “Thank you for your service” to a veteran when you see them out and about (and the occasion is appropriate). Many vets are gratified to receive this humble appreciation. Of course, there really are no words to truly express the debt that all Americans owe to those brave and selfless enough to put on the uniform of the armed forces, much less those who fought in active combat. What words could capture the depth of patriotism such a deed encompasses?

If you’re considering a gift for the military veteran in your life, you may be struggling with the same question. How could a gift card, watch, or necktie measure up to a tour overseas? How could an average present express the level of gratitude that every citizen should feel to those who risked their lives for our freedom? We probably won’t answer that question today, because it is unanswerable. That said, veterans are just people at the end of the day, and they enjoy getting presents as much as anyone else. Listed here are some of our favorite gift ideas for veterans. Perhaps you’ll find the inspiration you need to make your vet’s eyes light up!

8 – A Personalized Journal

To call this journal “beautiful” would be to damn it with faint praise. This leatherette-bound notebook comes complete with a personalized circular monogram on the front cover, instantly marking this as a book where serious work can be done. Whether that work is personal reflection, ideas about life, or even something as mundane as work notes – well, that’s all up to the recipient. What matters is that you’ve delivered a quality gift to the veteran in your life. If they’re like most veterans, they have a complicated view of their service and life in general. It may help them immeasurably to put those thoughts down in concrete form.

7 – Challenge Coin Display

According to lore, the concept of challenge coins originated in ancient Rome, where the military leadership would occasionally award soldiers with a “bonus coin” along with their weekly wages. Because they were specially minted, these coins were sometimes kept as collectibles by the soldiers in question. Thus began a tradition that continues to this day. Many veterans have at least a handful of challenge coins – and some have much more than a few! What they may not have is a nice way to showcase them. You can change that with a unique collectible display rack.

6 – Military Retirement Paddle

This would be an unusual gift for most people, but it makes perfect sense when it comes to delivering a wonderful present to the military retiree in your family (or friend circle). If they do not currently have a monument to their service in their home, this paddle will do the job quite well. In addition to being customizable and thoughtful, it makes for an attractive accent to any room in the home. It’s also ideally suited to serve as a centerpiece to showcase their military service. Great gift.

5 – Whiskey Decanter Set

Pair this gorgeous decanter set with a top-shelf bottle of premium whiskey, and you’ve got a gift anyone can enjoy – including the veteran in your life. Whether the recipient in question is a connoisseur of fine spirits or just likes to relax with a glass of bourbon now and then, they will appreciate the quality craftsmanship of this glass display. It adds a touch of class to any room, and they’ll get a special bit of enjoyment when sharing it with friends. If you’ve been looking for a gift that exudes elegance without drifting over the line into pretentiousness, this may be the perfect choice.

4 – Military Service Plaque

Plaques go hand in hand with retirement in our culture, and they are also commonly used to reward and honor those who have given their service to the U.S. military. Often, these plaques are designed to commemorate a special milestone in service. That could be graduation from boot camp, receiving a medal rewarding exceptional conduct in battle, or retirement. If you know a veteran who deserves to have their service set upon a pedestal, an engraved plaque would be well received.

3 – Custom Cigar Case

If there’s any trait that can fairly be used to describe everyone who ever enlisted in the armed forces, it has to be this one: Toughness. Mental toughness, physical toughness – we’re talking about a type of grit and strength of character that you don’t encounter every day. In some cases, the military instills this toughness. In others, it comes inborn. We don’t know about you, but when we think about tough guys and gals, we think of cigars. If the veteran in your life enjoys a stogie now and then, consider gifting them a custom cigar case…perhaps along with a nice selection of fine cigars.

2 – Personalized Beer Growler

Anyone who knows and understands the finer points of craft beer is sure to fall in love with these personalized beer growlers. Perhaps we’re alone in this, but the veterans in our life are all about sampling the latest and greatest beers on the market. Some of them are into IPAs; others have a taste for malty brands. All of them would agree that a good growler makes all the difference when storing cold beer from the tap. This is a terrific gift for any veteran who loves their hops and barley.

1 – A One-of-a-Kind Thrilling Experience

It is said that military service can often be described as long stretches of boredom, punctuated by moments of intense, adrenaline-pumping action. Some veterans find that returning to ordinary civilian life comes with far too much of the former and virtually none of the latter. If you know a returning military vet who seems to need a thrill, this may be the best gift you can get them. Whether it’s a race car experience or a bungee jump, it could be just the kickstart they need to embrace life in all its messy, boring, beautiful glory.

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