Veterans have done a great deal for our country and our safety. It is so important to recognize them and make them feel appreciated. A care package is one of the best ways I can think of to show gratitude. This Veteran’s Day, give the vet in your life a collection of handpicked gifts that will make them smile.
After deciding to send a care package, it can be tough to decide what to include, especially for Veteran’s Day. You want a box full of things that will express your thankfulness and make them feel special. Like in any care package, the best contents are the items that are really specific to the recipient. That being said, Veterans have a lot in common and there are a lot of great gifts that Veterans love. Below I've compiled a list of some gift ideas that you can add to your care package this Veteran’s Day to make it extra special.
1. Operation Cookies
The best gifts are the ones made by or for veterans! This homemade cookie service began as a wife sending baked care packages to her husband and his fellow soldiers while he was on active duty in Afghanistan. Now that act of kindness has been transformed into a full-blown business run by Angie, the wife we just talked about, and her husband Paul, who is now retired home safely. Most of their delicious cookies come individually wrapped in a quantity of 6 for $7.99. There are a variety of different flavors available.
To support the troops, Operation Cookies regularly sends batches of cookies to active service members on deployment. The company also makes a donation at the end of each month to a veteran organization such as Fisher House, Wounded Warrior Project or the Gary Sinise Foundation. So, when you buy a batch or two for the veteran in your life, you are actually supporting a number of other veterans as well.
2. DD Form 214 Blanket
This blanket is literally a scale reproduction of an official Department of Defense Form 214 (discharge form) handed to you on your last day of service. In every package they send out, they include a sharpie so the recipient can customize their blanket to represent their time in service. The company has a hard time keeping them in stock, but since the blanket is their most popular item don’t worry about it going anywhere. Always check here to see if they’re available. This fleece is a really cool and comfy gift for any veteran.
3. Custom Slatted Wood Flag
The company that sells these amazing flags (Fire For Effects) is 100% Veteran owned and operated. These wooden flags are completely customizable to the customer. They can add an image of whatever union your veteran belongs to. The stripes may also be customized with any text you want. The designer works closely with you via email to ensure that everything you envision is done right. If you are thinking about purchasing one from them keep in mind production time can run between 2-4 weeks.
4. Black Rifle Coffee
Black Rifle Coffee Company is a premium, small-batch, roast-to-order, veteran-owned coffee company. BRCC is veteran owned and operated and they donate a portion of their profits to veteran, law enforcement, fire, and first-responder causes. This company specializes in selling coffee, but also sells mugs, tumblers, etc. They pride themselves in developing “explosive roast profiles with the same mission focus we learned as military members serving this great country.” All BRCC blends are available in whole-bean and ground varieties. You have the option to gift your veteran a single bag of coffee or sign them up for the club that delivers coffee to their door monthly.
5. Rags of Honor
This Chicago-based screen printing company hires homeless veterans, pays them a living wage and aims to help them acquire the skills that will help them succeed in civilian life. Grab your veteran any number of stylish apparel this company has to choose from and make sure to tell them the origin story behind it. When you buy apparel from Rags of Honor, you know your contribution directly supports the employment of and assistance for homeless veterans. That is probably the best gift a vet could receive.
6. OIF/OEF Campaign Medal Rings
These beautiful rings are made from genuine Campaign Medals. They are crafted by hand and they even take special requests for certain dates and sizes. These medals are made by a number of Etsy shop owners and you really just have to search them up yourself. The ones pictured above are made for Iraq or Afghanistan, but you can find them for any war.
7. Custom Military Keepsake Box
This gift option is sort of broad. These boxes come in a variety of different styles, shapes, and sizes. You could get one that looks like an authentic Hellfire Missile warhead crate, personalize it with their name, and fill it with all of your care package goodies. You can also get a wooden chest like the one pictured above, that comes with display trays that they can keep all of their important military keepsakes in. This keepsake box comes with a long list of customizable options, like adding an engraved brass plate or including a military photo to the top of the box.
8. Engraved Whiskey Stones
This gift is perfect for those old-time whiskey drinkers in your life. Get veterans a pair that is engraved with whatever military esque thing you want. Design them with whatever military branch’s logo, dog tags, or anything else you please. These stones are made out of cubes of solid soapstone. They retain their temperature much longer than ice, so they will cool the whiskey or liquor of choice and provide a more sustained chill.
9. Combat Flip Flops
This unique company was founded by special ops veterans to make sure their service had a long-term positive effect in the conflict zones where they served. Their goal was to grow entrepreneurs, help build communities and use profits to fund women's education. Combat flip flops started with incredibly well-made flip flops and has expanded into shoes, clothing, jewelry and gym bags. That means you are sure to find a product to give your veteran, even if it isn’t the flip flops. When you buy from this company, know that they support several charities, including The Station Foundation for special operations veterans, the Mines Advisory Group and Aid Afghanistan for Education.
10. Personalized Note or Card
This gift will not cost you a dime, but it is definitely the most important part of a Veteran’s Day care package. Make sure to hand write a note thanking the veteran in your life for their years of service.
Include words of gratitude for all of the sacrifices they made to give you the freedom you have today. This note will go a long way. It reminds them that everything they did while serving was worth it and makes them feel appreciated. There really isn’t much instruction to this gift, just write from the heart.