Since Veteran’s Day is coming up soon, it’s so important to us here at to show our gratitude for the brave men and women who put their lives on the line to protect ours. So, again this year, we have decided to reach out to our fantastic contributor network to share some truly great gift ideas for the 2018 Holiday season, 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. Have You Decorated Yet?

Take decoration to a new level this holiday season with Pocket Square Heroes®.

Pocket Square Heroes® are the world’s-first award-inspired fashion line designed to increase civil military understanding and provide transitional transparency to America’s Heroes so they can tell us their stories. Medals, US Flags and Blue Line designs.

Guaranteed to start a conversation and what man doesn't like telling war stories?

Veteran owned, operated & 10% is donated to charities.
Thanks to: Chris Costa of Pocket Square Heroes™.

2. New Book by Ex-Navy SEAL

A great gift idea, already acclaimed by leaders such as Randy Hetrick (TRX), Jim Kouzes, John R. Ryan, and Tony Bingham (ATD).

The Leadership Killer: Reclaiming Humility in an Age of Arrogance aims to help aspiring, early-stage, and experienced leaders alike. Co-authored by globally renowned author and executive development trainer Bill Treasurer and retired U.S. Navy SEAL Captain John Havlik, this book explores precisely why some good leaders go bad, so you can avoid their mistakes. Available Oct 30th (LLP).
Thanks to: Catherine Campbell of Little Leaps Press.

3. Badass MilSpouse Backpack

Milspo Project Amaryllis backpack, by artist and military spouse Bergen Lauren, is a tribute to the voices of U.S. military spouses at every station, in every season. Spouses carry the honor and weight of supporting their service member and family wherever military life may take them, while also maintaining their own identity and success. All purchases are tax-deductible and help Milspo Project (501c-3 NP) fulfill their mission of helping 10,001 military spouses start businesses by 2024.
Thanks to: Elizabeth Boardman of Milspo Project.

4. "Art" of Holding Down the Fort

Military spouses are the most resilient people I know. I have been blessed to know & befriend Leslie Campbell, the owner of She is an amazing artist, woman, military spouse & mom. She has traveled the world while raising two boys, at times alone, while her husband retired Col. Robert Campbell was on duty worlds away. Through art, Leslie has made a name for herself & has left an imprint on many people's lives. Her art collections capture so much beauty & make the perfect gift.
Thanks to: Lori Bruhns of Lori Bruhns, LLC.

5. Experience Martial Arts

Sometimes, Christmas can be overwhelming. Amazing toys are played with for a moment, then tossed aside. But, gifting an experience can last a lifetime and martial arts classes offer a multitude of benefits.

Children learn self-defense, fitness, confidence, character education, and more while having an amazing time. You're also supporting a local business (and veteran, in my case!). Talk to your local martial arts school about an introductory trial with a uniform to wrap and put under the tree!
Thanks to: Sarah Brown of Unity Taekwondo of Clarksville.

6. Veterans Combating Poaching

Funded solely from kind donations, this group of US Veterans is fighting a war to protect African wildlife from being poached into extinction. Elephants, Rhinos, Giraffes, Lions and more are at dangerously low levels. Making a donation in someone else's name makes a great gift.
Help us help them at:
Thanks to: Shelley Wenzel of VETPAW.

7. Premium Afghan Lapis

The lapis lazuli stones are harvested in Afghanistan and assembled by Afghan women ravaged by war. Left widowed with limited resources, supporting their craftsmanship contributes to the economic stability of their family and community. These bracelets are sold in partnership with T.A.P.S.— Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors. Once they leave Afghanistan, the bracelets are shipped to the United States where they are then wrapped with love and gratitude by the families of fallen heroes. It makes a great gift!
Thanks to: Matthew Griffin of Combat Flip Flops.

8. Must-Have First Aid Kit

Everyone has a first-aid kit: some Band-Aids and antibiotic ointment. That’s fine for scrapes, but not serious cuts. EMTs may arrive in 10 minutes but a child can die in 5 if an artery is severed. The Audio Bleeding Control Kit provides supplies and “just in time” audio instructions in English and Spanish, along with visual aids and supplies, on how to handle three different levels of bleeding injuries. The light, portable kits can be stored on shelves, in drawers or trunks or on walls. Makes a thoughtful, life-saving gift!
Thanks to: Robert Castellani of North American Rescue.

9. Card Caddy

The Card Caddy is the ONLY playing card case that turns into a discard tray, so that you can keep your cards safe and then play anywhere, anytime! Makes a great gift for everyone on your list - we're all looking for ways to spend more quality time with friends and family. With the Card Caddy, all your cards stay exactly where you want them to be!
Thanks to: Chris Nichols of Narrows Hill LLC.

10. Not Your Typical Jerky!

U.S. Air Force veteran & CEO, Chris Prascus takes pride in delivering the best, using only top-quality ingredients. While serving his country, his best memories came from care packages he received – with the beef jerky in them bringing him the most comfort.

Soldier Boy is not your typical “jerky”.
Ultra-tender and all-natural without nitrates, it’s more like steak in a bag! Soldier Boy’s “Sweet Heat” and “Sriracha Assault” jerky will make great gifts this holiday season!
Thanks to: Chris Prascus of Soldier Boy Beef Jerky.

11. Badass Beard Oil

Badass Beard Care's fan favorite beard oil comes in 13 different scents like The Ladies Man (Lemon, Vanilla), The Viking (Orange, Siberian Fir, Clove) and The Outlaw (Sweet Tobacco, Vanilla, Black Pepper). All are hand-crafted with the finest, natural oils and 100% organic food-grade ingredients that are specially formulated to soften beard hair, hydrate skin to reduce itch and dandruff, promote thicker and faster hair growth, tame flyaway hairs and repair split ends.
Thanks to: Charlie Moyer of Badass Beard Care.

12. Adventurous Holiday Gifts!

The Hooded Travel Pillow from Grand Trunk is a fabulous idea for anyone that likes to slip into ultimate comfort while on the road. Travel like a Jedi with this soft micro-fleece pillow, designed with memory foam, providing ergonomic comfort and neck support. The storable hood covers eyes for instant darkness and the included hygienic carry bag keeps it all clean! Grand Trunk was founded on a love of the great outdoors, and their sole mission is to spread that appreciation far and wide.
Thanks to: Katie Rose Cronin of Grand Trunk.

13. .50 Caliber Money Clip

One of the most creative gifts I've seen is a brass .50 caliber money clip from a company called Sword & Plough. They take military surplus and repurpose it. They are veteran owned and proudly employ other veterans. This particular money clip is handcrafted from a .50 caliber brass shell casing. It's perfect for minimalists who want to lighten their wallet load.
Thanks to: James Pollard of The Advisor Coach.

14. Gifts by Active Duty Military

Hilarious holiday gift idea owned by active duty military member and wife. It’s Pop it Pal, the first ever pimple popping simulator. This incredibly satisfying and stress relieving toy went viral within two weeks of launching and has been featured on Buzzfeed, The Today Show and Fast Company even labeled them “the next fidget spinner". Everyone knows somebody that loves to pop pimples! It’s definitely the best white elephant gift and stocking stuffer this season.
Thanks to: Kayla Roof of Pop it Pal™ |Unique Obsessions LLC.

15. Six Shooter Whiskey Glasses

These Whiskey Glasses are machined out of a solid block of aluminum to resemble the cylinder of the iconic Colt Revolver. Weighing in at over a pound, they're the ideal way to sip 10oz of your favorite whiskey, bourbon, or scotch. Available with custom engraving, you can personalize them as gifts for any occasion.

If you prefer something a little smaller or larger, see our Six Shooter Shot Glasses which hold 1.25oz of spirits or our Six Shooter Pint Glasses which hold a full 16oz of beer.
Thanks to: Eric Montgomery of Groomsmen Central.

16. Help a Vet Catch a Wave

My name is Jhonatan Quispe and I am a Marine Corps Veteran. A great holiday gift for a veteran would be a surfboard from the company One More Wave.

One More Wave provides wounded or disabled veterans access to surfing by providing them with customized surfing equipment and assistance. Surfing has been known to help people with PTSD. Shop their hats, shirts and gear or make a donation to support.

Thank you!
Thanks to: Jhonatan Quispe of Local Vibe Rentals.

17. Outdoor Family Fun "Murbles"

Your family will love Murbles, the outdoor family friendly American made game. There is no set up required; simply dump the Murbles out of the convenient canvas carrying bag and it’s “Game On". The ball diameter is 3 inches and they weigh about 1/2 pound each, so they are just right for smaller hands and older shoulders. Murbles are available in custom color sets to match your favorite sports team. Additional sets are available for up to 16 players. Available in custom color sets. FUN!!!
Thanks to: Murray Kramer of Kramer Kreations.

As always, many thanks to our Veterans and everyone that contributed to this article!

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