Being in a relationship with someone in the armed forces is challenging to say the least. Your beloved is not only absent for months at a time but you end up away from each other on important occasions too like birthdays and anniversaries. Even when your soldier partner is not deployed overseas, the nature of his/her duty may make conventional romantic celebrations difficult. However here are a few romantic gifts ideas for soldiers which are sure to perk up your relationship, whether your partner is away on deployment or with you.
A photo album
Put together an album or a scrapbook for your soldier sweetheart so that in times of overseas deployment when they get lonely they have something real to touch and hold as a reminder of your love. Paste photos from times you went out for picnics, celebrated birthdays or clicked snaps of each other for the fun of it. Don’t forget to include in the scrapbook love letters, romantic messages scrawled in your partner’s handwriting or even post-it notes reminding one to pick up a favorite dessert or a bottle of wine for the other on their way to a date. Also create captions and write your own comments throughout the scrapbook. The best part of this gift is that it can be added to during your relationship as you continue to create memories together. So ask your partner to include his/her own contributions in the scrapbook and send it over to you again.
There are few things soldiers miss more than the smell of baking at home. If you both enjoyed cooking with each other back home, a great way to renew the romantic memories would be to indulge him/her with home-made treats every now and then. You could buy an unbreakable cookie jar, have it filled with brownies or other similar goodies and mail it to your lover. Be sure to send the item in a sealed container and if the package is going to be shipped abroad a better idea would be to go for vacuum sealing. To up the romance quotient, you could send some candy to your soldier. Good candy is not easily available in areas of overseas deployment so anything would be appreciated. While individually wrapped hard candies like Starlite mints or card caramels are perfect as long distance romantic gift, you can send other kinds if your partner doesn't mind melted candy. Chocolate could be tricky though as they melt more quickly and may lose their taste and shape.
His favorite movies/music/books
For a more practical gift idea, choose something that your soldier partner will enjoy during his/her leisure hours. It could be a CD collection of his favorite rock band or eighteenth century composer. In fact a great idea would be to compile a CD of the most memorable long distance love songs and mail it to your lover. Some must-includes would of course be “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton, “Can’t hurry love” by The Supremes and “Right here waiting” by Richard Marx. On the other hand if your partner is a movie buff, mail a set of DVDs featuring his/her favorite actor, director or genre. Book lovers again can be spoilt not only by gifts of fiction, autobiographies and histories while magazines on your partner’s hobbies could also make thoughtful gifts. Keep in mind though that CDs and DVDs are better gifted through mail if your partner is deployed within the country since sending them overseas would increase changes of damage en route. In case your partner is posted abroad, it may make more sense sending him/her his favorite books and magazines.
Personal care products
If you know your partner’s preference in personal grooming, how about sending a special hamper as a romantic gift. For a man, you could include in it an aftershave or a bottle of cologne while for a woman, a body wash or a perfumed moisturizer would make great gifts. However avoid sending anything very fancy like aromatic bath salts and perfumed candles since in places of deployment, there may not be many opportunities to use them. But what such personal care products may seem to lose out on practicality, they are sure to make up with their sensuality - so the next time your partner sprays on his new cologne or splashes on her perfume, you are sure to figure in their thoughts in very romantic way.
Something of your own
Among the things that long distance lovers miss out most is a sense of physical intimacy. When your soldier partner is away for an extended period, think of a romantic gift that will make him/her remember the intimate times spent with you. A good idea is to send your partner a T-shirt of yours in a gift box. It should be a soft, comfy shirt that he/she has seen you wear, so that he/she can picture you in it. Spray it with some of your perfume before you send it. Your beloved can snuggle up with the shirt when he/she is really missing you, or sleep with it beside him/her.
A love letter
Real time communication as in phone calls or chats on Skype may have made it easier for long distance lovers to remain in touch. But such opportunities are not always available to soldiers on deployment. Thus in their case, an old-fashioned hand-written letter is still the best way to express the emotions that lie deep in your heart. So the next time you wish to send a unique gift to your soldier partner pick up the pen and put down your thoughts on paper. Reminisce about the lovely times you spent with each other and share a bit about what you plan to do when you meet again. However be careful to avoid any complaints, suspicions or anxieties about your partner’s commitment in the letter. Including negative thoughts will not only defeat the purpose of writing a love letter but will in fact make him/her feel terrible both about being away from you and not worthy of your trust. There are other ways of addressing such issues in a long distance relationship but a love letter is not one of those. Let your epistle be a bearer of love and trust in your relationship and the hope that very soon you will be with each other.