If you have disabled American veterans in your life, deciding on the best gift ideas for holidays or birthdays can be a challenge. With plenty of patriotic options available, choosing the best gift ideas to show appreciation for their service is challenging.
5 Great Gift Ideas for the Veterans
We’ve compiled a complete gift guide of our five great gifts for your loved veterans —sure to show your appreciation for their sacrifice.
1. Military Challenge Coins
To begin, let’s start small — literally. These coins are a perfect pocket-sized gift for your veteran, allowing them to proudly display their service to other service members anywhere they go with a commemorative coin.
If you’ve never heard of them, you can think of them as a cross between coin collecting and membership badges. Veterans will often collect these commemorative coins to signify their specific branch of service and conflicts in which they were involved.
The “challenge” element of this gift comes into play in public settings such as a tavern, where if a veteran places one of his military challenge coins on the table in the presence of other veterans, each person is expected to present their challenge coin as well. (The last person to do so may be expected to buy a round of drinks, for example.)
In this way, these coins may create unique opportunities for your veteran to connect with other soldiers with similar military experiences.
2. Military Home Decor
Patriotic decorations for home can be a great gift idea for a veteran who is disabled, especially when it honors their specific military experience. Many homes proudly display a veteran’s service with a collage wall of military memorabilia, such as official military portraits, American flags enclosed in display cases, and shadow boxes showing challenge coins or service badges.
In fact, a military collage wall could actually provide a creative outlet for a disabled veteran, allowing them to put a creative spin on their collection of memorabilia.
3. Service Dog Gear & Training Tools
If you have a disabled veteran in your life currently awaiting a Labrador Retriever as a service dog, for example, providing them with training tools and other gear is a great gift idea. Many people don't realize that once one of these loyal dogs is officially placed with a disabled veteran, its training doesn't simply end. Veterans must have essential service dog supplies and training equipment, like vests and harnesses.
Not only are these supplies necessary to signify the dog's status in public, but they can be specifically tailored to suit the needs of a disabled veteran. For example, a veteran who uses a wheelchair can utilize a wheelchair-pulling harness to allow his dog to assist in pulling their wheelchair forward.
4. Outdoor Hobby
Spending time outdoors can provide countless mental health benefits to disabled veterans. Unfortunately, many of them with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) attempt to deal with depression and anxiety by isolating themselves indoors, often worsening these PTSD symptoms.
Encouraging an outdoor hobby they love is a great way to enable them to spend more time outdoors—especially if it’s an activity they can enjoy with other people.
In fact, motivating a disabled veteran to spend time outdoors is a significant benefit that service dogs provide to veterans. While it has successfully completed a full training program before being placed with a veteran, routine training is still required to maintain a high level of performance.
Through this training, a disabled veteran can further enrich their relationship with their dog and spend more time outdoors.
5. Be a Hero to a Veteran with a Dedicated Donation
Like the other gift ideas here, dedicating a donation in the name of a disabled veteran is a valuable way to honor their service. Veterans are mission-oriented people who feel a sense of duty when it comes to assisting their fellow service men and women. So, making a monthly donation in their honor allows them to become involved in providing another veteran with the life-changing gift of a service dog.
As the only nonprofit in the country dedicated to the husbandry and nurturing of world-class puppies, purpose-bred and donated to dog training organizations nationwide, Project 2 Heal offers an opportunity to dedicate each donation to a veteran in your life.
Your Gift Can Make a Difference
When you give disabled American veterans a collectible or decorative gift commemorating their service or equipment for an outdoor hobby or decide to honor their service through sponsoring a future dog that will serve them, your gift is sure to make a sincere difference.
If this idea sounds appealing, consider becoming a monthly donor to Project 2 Heal. Your monthly donation will support our work in husbandry and nurturing of world-class Labrador retriever puppies, which we donate to be trained as service dogs for veterans, children with special needs, and adults with disabilities.