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Maybe it’s your sister, your husband, or a good friend.
If you’re reading this, chances are that someone you love has been called upon to serve their country overseas.
Being deployed can be a long, lonely time.
In this post, I’ll go over some of the best choices you can make for a going away gift for someone being deployed.
The best going away gift for someone being deployed – Buyer’s Guide
Most deployments are at least twelve months long, with some of them spanning multiple years. Many soldiers are lucky if they’re allowed to come home once a year for Christmas, so homesickness is definitely a factor.
Whether they’re in a combat zone or just deploying to another country, you’ll want to get them something that reminds them of home and their loved ones.
When choosing a going away gift for someone being deployed, there are a few things you should consider:
What kind of work do they do in the service?
Knowing what kind of work your loved one does is essential.
If your soldier does staff work, gifting them more delicate items such as a DVR or laptop would be a welcome gift.
However, if they are often out in the field you might want to give them something more portable and rugged.
Where are they being deployed?
Before you buy that sweater with your initials on it, take a second to think about where they’re being deployed.
Your soldier isn’t going to need a sweater in the middle east, for example.
Even though it seems obvious, considerations like this are often overlooked in the rush to get your loved one a gift!
Does it provide value?
It’s easy for us to get caught up in buying random toys and accessories while we’re here at home, but your soldier doesn’t necessarily have that convenience.
Often, they are living in confined quarters with a limited amount of space and it’s easy to clutter it up with things they don’t need.
When buying a gift, consider two things
- does it provide value, and
- is it a multipurpose device?
The more utility you can get out of a single item, the better.
Gifts for deployment – My top picks
Now that we know what to consider when buying a deployment gift, take a look at my top picks for choosing a going away gift for somebody being deployed!
Best for computing while deployed: ASUS Chromebook 11.6”
Chromebooks are a great gift for the deploying soldier.
They’re more affordable than a traditional laptop and more portable, making it easy for your soldier to carry it around with ease. The ASUS Chromebook is one of Amazon’s top sellers.
This thing is built rough and ready, with reinforced rubber guards, easy grip handles, and a spill-resistant keyboard. Even though the ASUS Chromebook is compact, the 11.6” screen is large enough to surf the web and watch movies with ease.
The Anti-Glare display also helps reduce that irritating glare so common on laptops.
Chromebooks run on Chrome OS, meaning that using a Chromebook is basically like using the Chrome web browser – all the time.
This is great because most of us are used to surfing the web with Google Chrome, meaning it will be an easy transition.
Chrome OS comes with built-in virus protection, automatic updates, and boots up in mere seconds. Google Play is also included, meaning your soldier can download all of their favorite apps to their laptop.
- At 2.65lbs, the ASUS Chromebook is extremely lightweight
- 11.6” size makes it portable for soldiers on the go
- Reinforced rubber guards
- Anti-glare display
- Spill-resistant keyboard
- Google Play compatibility
- Rugged construction enables Chromebook to be dropped from 3.9 ft.
- Built-in virus protection and automatic updates
- Boots up in seconds and backs up your files automatically when connected to the internet
- 10 hours of battery life
With only 16GB of drive storage, your soldier will either need to rely on Google Drive when they have internet or an external hard drive
Best computer accessory: WD 2TB Elements Portable Hard Drive
No matter where they’re being deployed, a hard drive is an excellent gift for the soldier with a laptop.
Often, the web connection on base is limited to a few computers in public spaces. Even soldiers who buy their own internet often find it to be spotty at best.
An external hard drive is a great choice because soldiers can load it up with movies and music before they leave and enjoy hours of entertainment without having to worry about the internet!
The WD 2TB Elements Portable Hard Drive is an affordable external hard drive with tons of value!
The hard drive features 2TB of space, which will fit up to 1,000 hours worth of film. That’s about five hundred movies.
The Elements Portable Hard Drive is compatible with USB 2.0 and 3.0, so it can connect with any kind of laptop and is simple to us. All you have to do is plug it in!
- Super affordable
- 2TBs gives your soldier all the space they need for their entertainment files
- 2.0 and 3.0 USB compatibility
- Increased laptop speed
- 1TB, 2TB, 3TB, and 4TB models available
Set-up can be tricky on certain operating systems
Want something a little more rugged? Check out this Military Grade hard drive from Silicon Power!
Best gift for readers: Kindle Paperwhite E-book Reader
For the soldier in your life that loves to read, the Kindle Paperwhite E-Reader is the perfect gift.
A dedicated E-Reader prevents your soldier’s laptop or personal space from becoming cluttered with books and at 6” is an ultra-portable way to read on the go.
At the same time, the 6” screen is still large enough to read without straining your eyes and the no-glare screen helps soldiers read in all kinds of environment.
The Kindle E-Reader is neat because a single charge will last for weeks, not just hours, meaning your soldier doesn’t have to worry about making sure it stays charged.
This is partially because the Kindle E-Reader emits no blue light. Blue light has been known to suppress the body’s production of melatonin, so knowing that the Kindle E-Reader won’t mess up your soldier’s sleep schedule is another neat feature.
I just got one of these myself, and it so much better for reading than my iPhone. It’s lighter, not as bright, and is just a better overall reading experience before I go to bed!
- Dedicated e-reader means no distractions
- Features offline access to millions of books so you’ll never be bored
- The Kindle’s 6” size keeps things portable – take it anywhere!
- A single charge lasts for weeks, in case you don’t have access to power
- No-glare screen emits no blue light
- Make notes and highlight your favorite passages
- Bookmark certain pages
- Convenient size lets you read with one hand
- Share books with friends and family
- There’s no backlight, so you can’t read in the dark
- Plastic body makes it feel a little flimsy, but it seems to hold up pretty well
Keep them looking good overseas: Burt’s Bee’s Men’s Gift Set
You never really know what’s going to be in stock at the PX, so it’s always a good idea to bring the essentials along just in case.
For men, the Burt’s Bee’s Men’s Gift Set includes shaving cream, aftershave lotion, body wash, and lip moisturizers.
Many soldiers don’t even think about it, but being deployed to extreme conditions that they aren’t used to can dry out and chap their skin. Burt’s Bee’s uses natural ingredients to moisturize, and the smell is pretty neutral, making this a good gift for just about anybody.
The shaving cream and aftershave contain chamomile, calendula, and linden extract, perfect for hydrating your skin!
The body wash features natural ingredients such as coconut and sunflower oil, which helps the skin feel invigorated and refreshed.
Finally, the lip moisturized is made with beeswax, making it the perfect moisturizer for both chapped lips and chapped hands!
- Travel sized for easy portability
- Comes with a gift tin to keep everything neat and tidy
- Natural ingredients perfect for sensitive skin
- Affordable price and cruelty-free
The aftershave scent can be a little strong, although it does dissipate over time
Unfortunately, I have no idea what kind of face care set women would want, so if you have suggestions, let me know!
There you have it, my favorite going away gifts for somebody being deployed.
What have you gotten for deployed loved ones? Or, if you’ve been deployed, what do you think would be a great gift?
Leave a comment below and let us know!