Serving in the military changes you forever. There is a routine for everything you do since the moment you wake up and this applies to all branches of the armed forces. Because of this, the transition to civilian life can be challenging for veterans.
Family, friends and the general public can play an important role to help integrate into society those who serve our country. Extending a gift to them can be a great way to show their service is appreciated. It can help establish a link between the two phases in their life.
A Lapel Pin
There is time for hard work and there is time for ceremony. Everyone has to be impeccable for presentation in front of high ranking officers. These are hard-earned skills, but once you learn them you never forget them. Ornamentation pieces for an event at which a serving member has to be suited up are very important. The most basic is a lapel pin and its function is to communicate the affiliation of the person wearing it. Even politicians and businessman wear them these days. So, if the person served in the Navy, you can find some interesting items at Navy shops online and get them ensign lapel pin.
Uniforms are elaborate and those that like this sort of thing can take the concept into civilian life as well. Adding ornamentation in the likes of tie pins and cuff links can dress up any suit. All of these pieces include specific ensign which will not only show the branch in which the person served, but are also great conversation starters.
Rings and badges are also an easy way to portray your history. Other veterans will quickly recognize your Navy ring or the exact configuration of the symbols depicted on your badge. In addition to this, you can also gift a medallion to a veteran or their family. Just make sure you have the right badge configuration.
A Polo Shirt
Some people want to leave the ceremony behind. Giving them a set of polo shirts with engraved patches is a good option in this case. The only downside is you have to go to a specialized army store to get the correct ensigns. Gifting a shirt or any other item with improper engraving can be interpreted as disrespectful.
Everyday items would also do. Getting a kit of PVC coasters can also tell a story. For example, lapel pins are celebrating the five generations of airmen. If you don’t want to go for the formal option, you can simply get coasters.
A Military Pen
Writing down stuff can get fairly specific. There are all sorts of tactical and action pens that serving members get attached to. Pilots have their own Airforce stylus. But you can warm someone’s heart with a plain Navy pencil too. Why should you visit Navy shops to get this kind of stuff? Because no one else would invest in a high degree of details for any given piece, be it a pen, a hat, or a leather jacket.
A Commemorative Bear
Somewhat iconic and certainly playful – commemorative bears are a great gift for military families. They will catch the eye of the ankle biters, but of the most senior family members too. These bears come with a uniform and sometimes even with a specific piece of field gear. A fun way to remember the service, for sure.
Many members prefer staying active, regardless if they no longer take part in military action. Some dive into the world of sports and become involved in sports or as athletes (boxing, bodybuilding, running, etc.). Others more actively hike and camp in the bush. They all require high-quality field gear and it’s a great way to show your affection and appreciation by getting a valuable piece of equipment for them. You can go far and wide on this one. Depending on your budget, you can get military headwear, a backpack or even a certain piece of gear they need for their future adventures.
With the right intel, you can surprise your giftee with a collectible item they secretly wanted to have. One such example would be a collection of historical medals – World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, but check with someone close to them to see if they’d appreciate any of that. You can also go for some artwork, medallions or miniature figurines. There are all sorts of collections a veteran can be interested in.
If you are not sure what to get, but you have a close relationship with the veteran, you can ask them directly. Sometimes this is the best course of action to ensure everyone is satisfied in the end. It sure is better than splurging on an item they won’t find endearing anyway. One of the few simple steps you can take to ease their transition into civilian life.