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When a veteran returns home, they often are shaken from what they've seen on the battlefield. They missed everyone back home, and they often are yearning to have time to spend with the people who supported them when they went off to war.
It's not really possible for a civilian to understand what vets have seen when they were out on the battlefield. However, a little bit of sympathy — and maybe a welcome home gift — is exactly what can help remind them of what it's like to return back to a normal life.
Have a soldier returning home after a mission? This is a list of the best gifts for veterans who may have missed normal American living.
50 Caliber Bullet Bottle Opener by Fairly Odd Novelties
One of the best gifts for veterans who are proud to have served and loved their time in the military is this slick .50 Caliber Bullet Bottle Opener. It cracks open drinks, is made from a real .50 caliber bullet, and also adds a nice touch of badass flair to any night out.
Nothing quite says "job well done" like being able to gift your friend a cool bottle opener and some of their favorite beer.
550 Cord Paracord Survival Bracelet by Gonex
Looking for a survival-ready gift for the veteran in your life? If they served in the Air Force or the USMC, they may recognize the feeling of 550 Cord in this well-designed survival bracelet. This bracelet has a whistle, a fire starter, and a bottle opener on it. So, it's a smart way to add a little bit of military utilitarianism into regular civilian life.
Tactical Chef Apron by Damascus Gear
Tactical gear and military goodness just seem to go hand-in-hand, which is why one of the best gifts for veterans who love to grill is a Tactical Chef Apron from Damascus Gear. This apron has a real MOLLE system that allows you to keep all your tools within reach.
Ideal for outdoor grilling while looking totally badass, this is one apron that most vets will have no problem wearing. It's a great holiday gift for vets who love tactical style, too!
Yoga Joes by Dan Abramson
A lot of veterans struggle with returning to a life of peace after having seen the horrors of war. Dan Abramson created Yoga Joes as a way to send a message that it's okay to trade your guns in for peace — and to help encourage people to learn yoga as a way to get healthier and cope with stress.
Ideal for the veterans who are ready to look into stress relief at home, Yoga Joes are a thoughtful way to show your support for a veteran's new life filled with peace, love, and yoga. Of course, they can also inspire soldiers currently abroad to practice yoga to keep themselves in peak fighting condition, too.
Handsome Man Grooming Can by Groom Vroom
You know what's absolutely terrible when you're serving in war? Hygiene. At times, you may have to choose between showering and drinking enough water to avoid fainting. That's why one of the best gifts for veterans who just returned home is a luxury grooming set.
Let your favorite army veteran bathe themselves in the lap of luxury with this incredibly decadent set of bath goodies. Masculine, yet totally luxe, the Handsome Man Grooming Can is a great gift idea for anyone returing from active duty.
Upcycled Bike Chain American Flag by Rachel Spire
Many veterans have died or been seriously injured working to protect the American flag, and everything it represents. That's why one of the best gifts for veterans is something that has the flag emblazoned on it.
This upcycled bike chain flag art piece is perfect for your favorite vet's home bar, garage, or Man Cave. Better still, it's made of totally upcycled bike parts, making it an environmentally-friendly gift to give, too.
Calming Lavender Heat Pillow by Uncommon Goods
Because of what many veterans have seen, it's often hard for them to get a good night's sleep. PTSD is real; and learning how to stay calm after serving is a skill that often needs to be learned. That's why many of the best gifts for veterans with PTSD involve promoting calm, peace, and relaxation.
While you can't always take away the anxiety, you can give them something that can help them relax. This aromatherapeutic heated pillow is made with calming lavender, and works to help them get a great night's sleep.
Nautical Whiskey Stones by Steven Chavez and Justin English
Most veterans love themselves a strong drink, especially in the Navy. These beautifully handcrafted whiskey stones are in cute, nautical shapes, and are designed to keep whiskey cold without diluting it. All you need to do is rinse them off, pop them in the freezer, and drop them in your drink for cool sippin'.
Unlike ice or those cheesy freeze packets you get from the dollar store, these never melt or get cracked after extended use. Needless to say, this is one of the best gifts for veterans who love to drink in style — or any seafaring whiskey aficionado in your life.
Molecular Gastronomy Kit by Cuisine R-Evolution
Returning home means that the veteran you love no longer has to worry about having to scarf down MREs. (Heck, many of the foods developed by the military taste gross, even if we eat them every day.)
Considering how bad some MREs can be, it's always a relief to come home. That means they finally get to savor the flavor of a home-cooked meal — or better yet, restaurant cuisine.
This molecular gastronomy kit is one of the best gifts for veterans who adore new food, and love to cook something that isn't SOS. Part science kit, part food prep kit, and tons of fun, you can use this kit as a way to bond once more with your vet after they return from war.
'Illegitimi Non Carborundum' Paperweight by Uncommon Goods
This is one of the best gifts for veterans who are ready to work in the office. Why? Because this paperweight features a classic saying from WWII on it, reminding your favorite soldier never to "let the bastards get you down" when times are tough.
It's stylish, but undoubtedly military in nature. So, if your vet is now a corporate exec, it'll be an excellent addition to their desk environment.