With Veteran’s Day almost upon us, it’s so important to show our support to the brave men and women who put their lives on the line to protect ours. And since the holiday season also is just around the corner, we’ve asked our CarolRoth.com contributor network to share some truly unique gift ideas exclusively from businesses owned by active Military, Veterans and their families. Their answers are presented below in no particular order.
We encourage everyone to show your support to our Military/Veterans, patronize their businesses and spread the word about them!
1. A Great Gift for Pet Lovers!
A great gift idea for pet lovers is a 4Knines® Rear Seat Cover or Cargo Liner. Owned and operated by CEO Maggie Umlauf, who is a former Navy Veteran, 4Knines® makes premium, heavy-duty covers that make traveling with your best friend easier. These covers protect your car from fur, dirt, and claw marks so you will not hesitate to take your furry copilot along for a ride. They install in under 1 minute, are easy to clean, and are backed by a Lifetime Warranty. Available at www.4Knines.com.
Maggie Umlauf of 4Knines
2. The Next Great Lawn Game
Welcome to the Latest Sensation in the World of Lawn Games... Rollors!
Rollors, an outdoor game for the whole family, is an amazing choice for those who want to give the gift of outside fun. A simple, yet addictive game, Rollors is a good reminder to all of us to put down the electronics and get outdoors!
Rollors has won 11 awards and was product of the year 4 times to include Men's Journal "Gear of the Year".
3. Health and Happiness!
The Mommy MD Guide to Losing Weight and Feeling Great features tips that doctors who are also mothers use to slim down, shape up, fight fatigue, boost mood, look great, and live better!
4. Uniform Approach 2 Gift Giving
As a military brat and daughter of a retired Marine, I am always skeptical when I see someone referencing our armed services in a product offering.
This offering, however, is one I love and had to share!
Uniformed.com, owned and operated by a veteran and his wife, creates scrapbooks that are covered with actual armed forces uniforms. Each album is carefully constructed and unique.
This type of album, filled with a veteran's service info & pictures, would make a great gift!
5. Galaxy Super Fingers
The 'Galaxy Super Fingers' art print is available from Black Streak Entertainment, a company for kids, teens and the young at heart co-founded by U.S. Air Force Veteran Terry L Raimey. It's an enchanting and magical art piece with colors that pop. The stars within the Galaxy's Super Hand are especially eye catching. There is also a sense of action and excitement in the artwork, as the featured female characters are fleeing the clutches of the pursuing Galaxy Super Hand.
6. A Mesmerizing Christmas Story
The book "Star Readers from Out of the East" is an innovative re-telling of one of the world’s most mesmerizing stories, by D.A. Nygaard. It's a great gift idea available from Amazon, B&N, iBooks, and Lulu.
In the Christmas story, the visit of the “Wise Men” has been sentimentalized into myth and fantasy. Many dismiss it as a literary device.
But what if the story is authentic?
Not the romantic story commonly told; but the brief account recorded in the ancient text--a story that springs unexpectedly out of a mysterious culture.
7. Business, Not Bullets
The 100% Afghan sourced cashmere Cashmagh scarf is a luxurious and versatile fall/winter piece. It also turns a natural resource into a profitable, sustainable industry for Afghanistan. Combat Flip Flops is a veteran-owned small business creating economic, educational and life-saving opportunities for those living in conflict areas. The sale of each Cashmagh puts an Afghan girl in school for 1 month through Aid Afghanistan for Education. $250. Johnny Cash Black, Granite Grey, Experience Brown.
8. A Better Travel Pillow
The Travel Halo is a patented new style of travel pillow. It was created for those who find traditional neck pillows ineffective. It's designed to hold your head stable and block out light. Inventor, entrepreneur, and US Army Veteran Michael Vahey created it to help him sleep better on long trips. Its compact size and weight make it a great travel accessory and gift idea.
9. Put a Shirt on a Veterans Back
Rags of Honor is the only silk screen shop operated by homeless and unemployed veterans and their mission is to provide them with an opportunity to rebuild their lives after serving in the U.S. military.
Equipped with new state of the art machinery, Rags Of Honor is capable of producing any size order. They take great pride in what they do and deliver the best in quality. When you order from Rags Of Honor, you can feel great knowing you put a shirt on a veteran's back by buying one for yourself!
10. Be an Escape Artist
You and up to 5 guests are locked inside a themed room (one of three) and have one hour in order to solve the clues, unlock mysteries, complete logic puzzles and more to figure out the door code to escape. If your group gets out in under an hour with no assistance, your entire group gets a free t-shirt. Teams must be thorough, think outside the box, be able to communicate, be innovative and work under pressure. Total laugh out loud fun and extremely unique.
11. Military Skills for Your Job!
The book Combat Leader to Corporate Leader teaches you how to apply 20 unique military skills to bring you even greater success in your job and your career. Professionals, Entrepreneurs, and Military Veterans all want to know how they can take the successful skills of the military and make their careers and company more successful.
12. Army Green Beret Backpacks!
Go Ruck Backpacks and other military grade gear are an incredible combination of tough and fashionable gear. Go Ruck backpacks were tested throughout the world by Special Operations Forces (SOF) composed of Army Green Berets and Air Force Combat Controllers. If these can survive in combat in Iraq & Afghanistan, they will work for you! Made in the USA!
13. "Bear"able Deployments
The Deployment Bear is a children’s book by Priscilla York, military spouse and owner of Holiday Traditions. Specifically written for children of deployed service members, the book helps these children fill their hearts with comfort while their loved one is away, especially during the holidays.
This uplifting story of a bear who takes the place of the deployed loved one fills the child’s heart with love that has been placed inside the bear. The book is paired with a plush toy bear from the story.
14. Learn from the Best
What do you get for the man or woman who has everything? How about an adventure in San Diego learning action mindset and weapons training from former and retired US Navy SEALs? With SOST Experience, participants get to experience safe and proper weapons training and tactics. The hyper realistic setting means you may experience a tactical patrol through a terrorist village, fending off attackers, and saving hostages, or everyday life scenarios such as a home invasion or carjacking.
15. Lunch Bag that Stays New
The vision of Flying Buttress is to encourage tweens' imagination and individual expression. The concept is a system of 5 bags with 40+ panel styles that snap on to each bag. You can switch out the look of the bag easily and at low cost. Each panel fits all styles of bags. We have created a Lunch Bag Gift Pack that includes two looks. The first is magenta sequins; the second is a white cotton panel with a fabric marker; so you can decorate your bag. Two bags in one is perfect for a fickle tween!
16. Heading Home...
Transitioning from military service into the civilian sector is an exciting and challenging time. One of the major keys to success is to begin the process earlier rather than later. Working with an experienced career coach will make the process enjoyable, while reducing overwhelm and frustration. Look for the new “Your Amazing Itty Bitty Book 15 Simple Steps to a Successful Military Transition” - releasing just in time for the holidays and it makes a great stocking stuffer!
17. Honoring Those Who Serve
We are winemakers. We are patriots. But before that, we are veterans, and family members of service members who paid that ultimate price. Honor Winery brings all those aspects together, adding endless respect and remembrance to the simple enjoyment of a fine glass of wine.
MISSION - To pay honor, respect and tribute to the men and women that serve/served our country and to give back. Words that epitomize a soldier.
www.honorwinery.com - Enter HOLIDAY to receive a shirt w/ purchase.
18. Socks With a Mission
Austin-based Mitscoots is known for making awesome statement socks and apparel. Air Force veteran Tim Scott and his wife created Mitscoots after volunteering on the streets of Texas and discovering that besides food and water, the homeless population wanted a clean pair of socks. Mitscoots mission is Get+Give+Employ. They employ the homeless to package up the socks and for every purchase, a pair of socks is donated. Mitscoots is outfitting the homeless from head to toe with essential clothing.
19. NavySeal Meets Shark!
Bottle Breacher was founded in a one-car garage in San Diego, CA, the autumn of 2012 by Navy SEAL turned entrepreneur, Eli Crane and his wife Jen. Our mission is to make Bottle Breacher an American brand and a household name, hire Veterans, and continue to make made in the USA products that are focused on quality, bringing “man gifts” to a whole new level of AWESOME. Our mission allows us to use this platform to provide for our family and bless others, including veterans and organizations.
20. Marine Makes Deal with Shark!
RuckPack is a Shark Tank featured company that was originally founded by Marine Special Operations Forces in the battlefields of Afghanistan. As a military and veteran owned company, our mission has always been to provide premium energy & performance fuels to the warfighter on the front lines. But we all have our own battles to fight, too. RuckPack’s line of Combat Nutrition products is perfect to keep you engaged and energized!
Do you know any great gift ideas from Military/Veteran owned businesses that weren’t included? If so, please share them below. And as always, many thanks to everyone that has served our country, as well as those that contributed to this article!