13 Veterans Day Gifts for Marines, Soldiers & Service Members to Show Them Your Love
6 min read
Are you looking for the perfect gift for the service member in your life on Veterans Day? We put together a gift list divided by category, so no matter what the occasion, you'll get the veterans you love something they'll cherish.
Whether you’re looking for military retirement gifts, Veterans Day gifts, father's day gifts or something special for a birthday, Memorial Day or the Fourth of July, this guide will help you find what you’re looking for.
Veterans Day Gifts Ideas
You know how special November 11 is to your loved one, which is why he’ll appreciate receiving a little token of your appreciation on this day. We’ve included some great ideas for Veterans Day gifts to thank him for his service.
If you’re looking for non-military related gifts for soldiers, there’s no better way to thank them for their service than with a personalized wallet from Swanky Badger. After all, a man’s wallet is an extension of his personality, which is why he’ll love these seriously beautiful handmade, split-leather wallets.
The best part? You can monogram his initials on the outside and engrave a custom message on the inside. Tell him how much you love him, thank him for his dedication to our country, or put something else related to his time in the service, such as his rank and which service he formed part of.
If you want to include some other message but you’re not sure what to say, check out our guide to crafting the perfect personalized message.
Flag Display Case
A flag display case is one of those veterans’ gifts that will touch their heart. It’s perfect for military retirees, as well as families of veterans who’ve lost their lives in the line of duty. There are plenty of affordable yet beautiful options available online that will look great in your vet’s home.
Customized Dog Tags
Every service member receives a pair of dog tags when they begin their service. Over time, some may get lost or damaged, which is why a couple of customized dog tags makes an excellent Veterans Day gift. They’ll be a reminder of the veteran’s service that they can either wear or display with the rest of their service memorabilia.
Choose the information you’d like to include on the dog tag, which generally consists of the member’s name, their blood type, serial number (though it’s a good idea to leave off their Social Security number), and religious preference. Some even come with a display box.
Birthday Gifts for Veterans
Let’s keep things going with a few fantastic birthday veteran gift ideas to show them your love.
Whether they served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard, an army ring is one of our favorite military gift ideas. He’ll love opening this present on his birthday and will wear his ring with pride for a long time, or he may want to display it at home. You can find them in gold or silver, and all services have rings available for purchase.
Military Coin Rack
If he’s got his challenge coins in a box somewhere, get him a high-quality rack to display them.
For those that may be unfamiliar with challenge coins, they bear the symbol or motto of the service group they represent. Military members present, trade, and collect these coins, which are a source of pride and a symbol of brotherhood. This tradition goes back many years and remains popular today.
Since those in service may have collected quite a few coins, a military coin rack makes an excellent gift for his birthday. They come in a variety of formats, including wall-mounted, desktop, and glass-topped cases. You may even be able to find them as a glass covered coffee table where you can store coins as well as other memorabilia.
Did you know that Marines are required to read a minimum number of books from the Marine Corps reading list per year? If he’s an active member, help him meet this requirement by getting him an ebook reader. Plus, he’ll appreciate being able to take his favorite non-required novels wherever his service takes him.
And if he’s a vet, he’ll love this gift just the same, because an e-reader will help keep his favorite books close at hand and his bag light.
Christmas Gifts for Army Veterans
If Christmas is coming up and you’re looking for gifts for vets, we’ve got a few great ideas, both service and non-service related.
A multitool is a great gift for any guy, not just veterans. But veterans, in particular, will love getting one for Christmas. Among the things you need to know about guys is that they like stuff they’ll use all the time, and this gift fills that requirement. He’ll get tons of use out of a multitool, whether he’s in active duty or retired. Think about getting a smaller one that he can put on his keychain for portability.
For the frequent traveler in your life, a Global Positioning System (GPS) is a great way to keep from getting lost without having to rely on Wi-Fi or data. You can get your military member a hand-held version or a GPS watch, so they’ll stay on track no matter where they go.
Personalized Wooden Watch
There are many types of watches to choose from, but one thing’s for sure: you can’t go wrong with a stylish timepiece.
Whichever one you go with, Swanky Badger’s excellent collection of wooden watches is sure to be a hit this Christmas. Not only are wooden watches highly versatile when it comes to pairing them with outfits for many occasions, but he’ll also think of you every day when he goes to put it on.
And like all of Swanky Badger’s gifts, you can personalize the back of the watch with his initials and some service-related message so he can carry the memory of his time in the military wherever he goes. Or you can tell him how much he means to you--whatever you prefer.
Get him a good pair of running shoes. Or weightlifting shoes. It doesn’t matter. Just get him whatever pair of shoes he needs to do whatever it is that keeps him in shape. Because fitness is an integral part of service life, and old habits die hard. Just because he’s a veteran doesn’t mean he won’t want to stay in shape, so help him maintain his fitness goals. You can also consider getting him gym gear like sweatpants or breathable t-shirts.
Military Retirement Gifts
Perhaps the most important moment in a service member’s life, retiring is a milestone that requires a thoughtful gift. Help him celebrate his time in the military with these gift ideas for veterans.
Military retirement is an emotional time, and he’ll surely want to display memorabilia from his time in the service once he gets back home. Shadow boxes are great gift ideas for soldiers reaching the end of their time in the military--in fact, they’re pretty much ubiquitous among retirees, so help him get a jump on displaying his things by getting him a shadow box.
There are lots of options when it comes to shadow boxes, so take some time to research them. They range from small boxes that hold things like ribbons, coins, and medals to bigger cases for displaying dress blues, American flags, and insignias for every rank held. It might be a good idea to consult with someone in the military to get an idea of what to buy. It may also be a good idea to include a picture frame with a photo of him or friends from his time in the military.
A New Suit
Celebrating the end of his time in the service with some new clothing is one of those over-looked yet practical gift ideas for soldiers. Military retirees will likely be going on job interviews once they get back, and they may not have the required clothing. Lack of clothing is especially real if they’re young and joined the military straight out of high school.
Get him some nice clothing for when he’ll need to get dressed up. Having a well-fitting suit, dress shoes, and a nice shirt or two will go a long way in helping your soldier transition to civilian life.
A great idea for your new retiree is an assignment or deployment map he can hang with all of his other military memorabilia to show where he’s been. Whether he’s an Air Force veteran or a Navy veteran, an assignment map is one of those gifts he won’t expect--but will love just the same.
This doesn’t have to be incredibly fancy--a nice map in a shadow box with some good-looking pins to mark the places he saw during his time in the service will do the job just fine.
What Are Your Favorite Military Retirement Gifts?
When it comes to gifts for marines, there are a million ways to show your appreciation for their service.
If you’re looking for a more non-military related present, or if the military member in your life is especially difficult to shop for, take a look at our gift guide for men who have everything for some fun ideas.