When your loved one is on active duty, he or she is on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Active duty sometimes means long separations and celebrating holidays alone, which can make this special holiday for sweethearts especially difficult. Valentine’s Day gives you the opportunity to show how much you appreciate the service and the sacrifices of your special military love, whether they are at home or deployed. Here are 34 ideas for gifts and other ways to celebrate and show your veteran you care this February 14th.
What would Valentine’s Day be without a card? For veterans, tell them how proud you are of their accomplishments and remind them how they are a part of the noble military history of the United States.Personalize the card with a poem, either one you like or one you wrote yourself. If your beloved is deployed, include messages from the entire family to help boost their spirits. Don’t forget to add “Happy Valentine’s Day” somewhere in your message, too!
A Valentine care package is an excellent way for a family to get together and let your veteran know he or she is not forgotten.Have the children enclose a personalized, hand-written card. Include your veteran’s favorite baked goods, candy, or special treats. Perhaps include a framed photograph with a message from you written on the image. Make a playlist of your veteran’s favorite songs. If you are the spouse, don’t forget to spray the inside of the box with your favorite perfume or cologne to remind him or her of home when they open the package.
Write a journal of all the romantic or fun things you both did together during the past year. Include photographs or other printed reminders of the past year and the events you both enjoyed. This gift is especially meaningful if your loved one is deployed.
ROMANTIC WEEKEND GETAWAY
Book a hotel room someplace you and your military honey can be alone together. Check online and find a hotel that offers a military discount or a unique theme. Check with the local USO Center or base housing office for places that have special veteran deals. If they aren’t in a combat zone, arrange to meet them at their deployment for a romantic rendezvous.
CUSTOM DOG TAGS
Have a set of custom dog tags made. In addition to his name, add a personalized message on the back of the tags. Package it in a fancy box and add a heart-chain to hang them from.You can even put them in a shadow box, so your sweetheart can hang them in their room or office.
MILITARY CHALLENGE COIN DISPLAY CASE
Service members love challenge coins. Chances are he or she has accumulated a collection of challenge coins during his or her time in service. This challenge coin display case makes a great Valentine’s Day gift your service member can use to display his or her collection proudly.
AMERICAN FLAG NECKLACE, BRACELET, OR PIN
Adding an American flag motif to your Valentine’s gift will remind your active military members of your understanding and appreciation of the symbol of their service.She would appreciate a heart-shaped, silver-toned necklace with an American flag inside.American flag bracelets and pins make great gifts, too.
DINNER AT HOME
After a long deployment, spending time at home is even more special. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a homemade dinner and a movie. Make a favorite meal and add a bottle of wine and a movie for a memorable and intimate Valentine’s Day gift.
DUAL TIME ZONE WATCH
Many major timepiece manufacturers sell dual time-zone watches. These make great gifts on Valentine’s Day for those with active duty members who are deployed or about to be deployed. You can keep track of what time it is wherever each of you may be and plan phone calls or video chats accordingly.
GIVE AN EVENT TICKET
Find a fun local event for your active duty military member and buy them a ticket. Pick a sports event, maybe a concert, or even a comedian that may be coming to your special military member’s local area.
DON’T TREAD ON ME
Items related to the famous Gadsden Flag and its iconic “Don’t Tread on Me” message make great Valentine gifts for active duty personnel.A hat, t-shirt, license plate emblems, and more are available to remind your veteran how proud you are of their service.
AMMO BOX DOG DISH
Any active duty military personnel who work with canines have a special bond with their dogs. A whimsical gift that not only honors the active duty canine but shows your veteran how much you care for them is an ammo box dog dish.The dish sits in the center of an authentic ammunition crate. There is even a compartment inside to store treats or toys.
Take advantage of the military’s benefit of an America the Beautiful Pass on Valentine’s Day and visit a national park together. The America the Beautiful Pass permits free access to any active duty military personnel and dependents to any national park. The pass covers any entrance fees, day-use fees, or other standard charges.
A camouflaged grilling apron makes a great gift for your soldier on Valentine’s Day. The apron has three tool pockets, two spice pockets, four sauce pockets, and even has a bottle opener and a 6-pack artillery belt to hold beer or soda cans.
AMMO BOX AND SOAP PISTOL AND GRENADE
This whimsical gift shows your veteran how much you care just as much as a more traditional gift. The soap pistol and grenade come in a wooden ammunition crate. Carefully made, they are almost identical to the real thing but made of soap.
ARGUMENT WIN TICKET
Either buy or create an argument win ticket for your soldier. Place it in a special Valentine’s Day pouch or box. Mark it “Good for One Argument Win.”
CAT SCAN GUN PRINT
Any soldier would love this detailed CAT scan print of a rifle. These high-resolution photos look great hanging in his or her office or den. Frame them and place a personalized message underneath as a remembrance of when he or she received it.
This specialty pocket knife is shaped like a Beretta 12-gauge shotgun shell. It has a functional 2-inch stainless steel blade, too.
Create your own “Lovebook” that lists all the special reasons you love your active duty soldier. If you have children, have them help you create a collage of photos, drawings, and other personalized images to show your appreciation for him or her.
PERSONALIZED MILITARY HEART-SHAPED CHALLENGE COIN
Create a customized, heart-shaped challenge coin for your military significant other. This will be one challenge coin that he or she will always have with them.You can even enclose a Valentine’s Day card outlining the specifics of the “punishment” for failure to produce the card on demand.
HEART POCKET COMPASS
This pocket compass has a compass on the front and the stamped phrase "My heart will guide you home" on the back.Contained in a small, heart-shaped pewter casing, it makes a tremendous military gift.
Mizpah medals are popular Christian religious medals that are made in two parts. Your soldier can wear one half while you retain the other.The Mizpah medals relate to a verse from Genesis 31:48-50 inscribed on one side: "May the Lord keep watch between us whenever we are apart.” Each half has part of the saying.You can also have your military member’s service symbol inscribed on the medal.
3D LASER ROMANTIC CRYSTAL KEEPSAKE
Upload an image of you and your active duty military member and have it etched forever in a crystal keepsake. Include a personal message that will be laser-etched beneath the image inside.
A SpeakSake makes an excellent gift for family and friends to give to your special military member on Valentine’s Day. SpeakSake provides you with a phone number so you and others can call and leave a special message for your soldier.A recording of all the messages is made on a CD that is carefully packaged in a petal-shaped gold box, along with a personalized message from you.
ORGANIZE A VETERAN’S CHARITY RUN/WALK
This is a great way to provide your deployed veteran’s military unit with a gift for Valentine’s Day. Organize a charity run/walk for military spouses, family, and friends of soldiers from your veteran’s unit that is deployed on Valentine’s day. Look for sponsors or charge a small entrance fee.Use the proceeds to send Valentine’s Day care packages to the men and women who can’t be home for Valentine’s Day, or donate the money to a veteran’s charity in the unit’s name.
FLAG AND FLAG POLE
Surprise your soldier with an American flag and residential flag pole. Have it installed in your front yard, take a picture of you and his or her family and friends around the flag, and surprise your soldier on Valentine’s Day with the photograph in a frame.You can find black and silver or bronze and gold poles that come with all the accessories necessary to fly your flag.
AMERICAN EAGLE STATUETTE
This American eagle statuette weighs eight pounds and is manufactured of a durable zinc alloy. Sitting on a black marble base, you can have an Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or Air Force emblem embedded in the front. Ten inches in height, it makes an excellent military gift to show your appreciation and love.
Based on the biblical story of David and Goliath and the five stones David took with him in combat, you can engrave these wish stones with the traditional words from the Bible, a word each, such as love, honor, protection, flag, and country.You can also include the appropriate verse: “God doesn't require perfection, only faith and five smooth stones,” which is sure to resonate with your military loved one.
PERSONALIZED PHOTO PLAYING CARDS
Have a customized set of playing cards made with images of you and the family, or you and your military loved one. You can have them engraved with a heart monogram and your initials.
CAMOUFLAGE PAPER ROSES
Send a dozen paper camouflage roses and include a different personal message printed on each rose. Send them in a military-inspired flower vase to make the gift more special.
AMERICAN FLAG AND MONUMENT FRAMED PRINT
Send a patriotic American flag and monument framed print to your military valentine this year. This collage by Diane Miller includes an American flag, the Washington Monument, and a clear, bright full moon. Printed on archival photographic paper, the vivid colors and detail of the work will remain vibrant and memorable for a lifetime.
Whatever gift you choose this Valentine’s Day for your active duty military member, make it a special one that shows your support and appreciation for your veteran.