Whether he's protecting the seas on the other side of the world or serving closer to home, the Navy man in your life knows the importance of country before self. Serving in the armed forces can be challenging, especially around birthdays and over the holidays. You can make these times a little more palatable by sending a thoughtful gift, with options ranging from practical to entertaining.
Gifts for Men on Deployment
Members of the Navy on deployment often miss simple items or things that remind them of life back home, so select a gift accordingly. Simple items such as socks, underwear and toiletries such as razors, shaving gel, shampoo and dental floss can provide the pampering the recipient deserves. Other gifts to boost the Navy member's morale include books or magazines, batteries, toys such as a travel-sized chess or checkers set or an MP3 player loaded with his favorite songs.
Gifts for Men Serving at Home
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The Navy man in your life might not be serving abroad; he could be stationed at a base in the United States. For this man, reminders of home are suitable. Put together a photo album of images from your favorite moments together, assemble a scrapbook of your kids' art or bake a fresh batch of your famous cookies, squares or loaf and give him a taste of home. A copy of the sports section from his hometown newspaper is also ideal.
Gifts for Men Living at Home
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Many members of the Navy don't live abroad or on a base, but rather at home. If you wish to buy a gift for such an individual, focus on those that increase his Navy spirit. The U.S. Naval Academy football program, known as the Midshipmen, provides a rallying cry for those who serve. A T-shirt, hat, jersey or jacket featuring the team's crest helps the man show his Navy pride, while tickets to a Navy game is another suitable idea.
Whether the Navy man is serving abroad or at home, he'll appreciate a gift of some tasty munchies to enjoy during his downtime. Think of the items he enjoys best and evaluate which are sensible to send. Ideas include trail mix, protein bars, beef jerky, candy and chewing gum. Everyday condiments in individual packages can help the serviceman improve the taste of the food that he's served while serving, while powdered drink mixes are easy to send. Think about where he's serving, and avoid sending perishable or easily melted items to hot climates, such as chocolate to a man serving in the Middle East.
Thanks and Best Wishes
A note of thanks completes your gift package to the Navy serviceman. In this note, whether it wishes him a happy birthday or coincides with Armed Forces Day, express your appreciation for his service. Use phrases such as, "Not a day passes without me thinking of the sacrifices you're making for our freedom and protection." Don't express pity; for example, don't say you're sorry the serviceman is away for the holidays. Instead, show your gratitude, provide some details about home and stress your excitement for the next time you see each other.
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.