Veteran-made gifts for everyone on your holiday list

Military Holidays
Photo credit Getty Images
By Connecting Vets

Support veteran-owned businesses and give great gifts — all at once. Every item on our veteran-made gift list will do exactly that — and it's sure to have everything you could need for veteran and non-veteran loved ones alike. 

APPAREL:

Veteran-Made Apparel Logos

Combat Flip Flops: This veteran-owned company “makes cool stuff in dangerous places.” They sell not only flip-flops, but also shoes, clothing and accessories. Some products are made in Afghanistan by war widows, others by Syrian refugees, and the Peacemaker jewelry is made in Laos from landmines dropped during the Vietnam War. Every sale helps send girls in Afghanistan to school or clear landmines in foreign countries. 

Knuckle Draggers Union: This “veteran-owned, patriot-approved” apparel company offers patriotic designs on T-shirts and sweatshirts. Proceeds are donated to military and first responder organizations.

She Swank Too: This Jacksonville, N.C., marketplace features products from veteran- or milspouse-owned brands. Order online to support military entrepreneurs and small business owners.

If those shops didn't cut it for you, the number of veteran-owned apparel companies continues to expand. Check out Ranger UpNine Line ApparelEagle Six GearCombat Iron ApparelOscar Mike ApparelValhalla Wear or Painted Revolver

ACCESSORIES:

Holiday Accessories Logos

R. Riveter: Founded by two military spouses who know what it's like to move a zillion times, R. Riveter is backed by Mark Cuban. With 30 employees at the flagship store in North Carolina, they also employ 27 military spouses who work remotely and send the finished pieces to the final assembly & distribution location. 

Pocket Square Heroes: Created by Marine Corps veteran Christopher Costa, the first line of pocket squares are inspired by military ribbons. He also has designs ready for civilians as well, including camouflage and the American Flag. There are Blue Line squares to represent law enforcement, red lines for firefighters.

Assault Forward: Founded by three Army veterans based in the Washington D.C. area, they chose to show their pride of service and support of the military by displaying a reverse American flag in professional settings. You'll find tie bars, cuff links and pins here.

Hope Designs LTD: Lauren Hope is the military spouse, owner and designer behind the jewelry of Hope Designs LTD. Featured everywhere from Military Spouse magazine to Second Lady Mrs. Pence, Hope Designs creates informal jewelry, branch-specific and custom-made designs. (Use DAILYIMPRESSIONS2018 through December 31st to save 10%)

Sword & Plough: Featured on the Today Show and Oprah Magazine, this unique veteran-owned company that repurposes military surplus material into beautiful and durable handbags, backpacks and accessories. They offer a military discount and donate 10% of proceeds to veteran causes.

Charliemadison Originals: This jewelry brand is tied to three generations of military service and each bracelet carries a leather knot symbolizing a connection to the Navy. They donate 5% of their sales to organizations that support military service members and their families. (Use GIFTS20 through December 31st to get 20% off.)

GORUCK: Founded by a Green Beret, GORUCK is an American brand with Special Forces roots. The company produces everything from gear to footwear. 

For additional stores check out Khakuun DesignsNomadesBang Bang BallisticDesigns By Katie LeighCeltic Shield and Tara Hutch Jewelry.

FOOD AND BEVERAGES:

Holiday Food Gift Logos

Compass Coffee: Created by two Marine veterans who bonded over coffee on deployment, this D.C.-based roastery offers coffee, tea, apparel and brewing equipment online as well as a 30% military discount in-store.

Alpha Coffee: Veteran and milspouse owned, this coffee and cocoa company ships nationwide with a storefront in Cottonwood Heights, Utah. They donate coffee to deployed troops and dedicate a portion of all sales to military charities.

Dog Tag Brewing Foundation: Their goal is to help build legacies of our nation’s fallen warriors by partnering with Gold Star Families. You can support their mission through the purchase of Dog Tag Beer. 100% of Dog Tag Brewing, LLC profits will benefit charities created by Gold Star Families.

Rumispice: This saffron company was created by a team of veterans who visited Afghanistan at the invitation of Uncle Sam. 

Buddy’s Allergen-Free: These cakes are the perfect gift or stocking stuffer for your friend or family member who may have a food-related allergy. Buddy Cakes are single-serving allergen friendly cakes and frosting that take 1 minute in the microwave to make.  All of your favorite flavors are gluten, dairy, egg, peanut, soy and nut free. (Use the code Milspouse for 15% off your holiday order.)

Mutt’s Sauce: The recipe was developed by a Vietnam veteran, who's Air Force granddaughter bottles and ships the sauce.

Heroes Vodka: First bottled on Veteran's Day 2011, this vodka was started by a Marine Corps veteran in honor of a fallen friend. A portion of the proceeds goes to organizations that support veterans. 

Savannah Sauce Company: Their product line includes hot sauces, ketchups, barbecue sauce, marinades and other sauces. Started by U.S. Army veteran Tracey Richburg, the company allocates a percentage of profits from sales to help homeless veterans and veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries. The company has developed a program, “Tiny Homes for Big Heroes,” to help the local homeless authority with building and furnishing tiny homes for the homeless in sustainable communities.

Bottle Breacher: Not technically food, but useful if you're buying from Dog Tag Brewing, this bottle opening company is another "Shark Tank" alum. They feature a "Never Forgotten" section, which pays tribute to those who have been lost in service. Proceeds from those sales go to the charities designated by the surviving families. 

Lift Chocolates: Lift is a veteran-owned business. The name is a nod to owner and chocolatier Brandon Busch's background as a heavy-lift helicopter pilot in the United States Marine Corps.

CANINE COMPANIONS: 

Dog Holiday Gift Logos

 

TurboPUP: Founder Kristina Guerrero (call sign "Turbo") is a graduate of the Air Force Academy and proud recipient of two Combat Air Medals for missions flown in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Horn of Africa. She started TurboPUP because she wanted her dog to have a delicious powerbar of his own. One thing led to another and she found herself standing on the "Shark Tank" stage with an offer to help build her company. Today TurboPUP is available through these retailers and they donate 5 percent of profits back to veteran and animal support causes. Buy for your dog, buy for others dogs, just buy because this is a great company that helps you help others in the military community. 

Lola D’s Dog Treats: Owned and operated by a military spouse, Lola D's makes all-natural handmade dog treats and other Made in USA pet products. (Use GiftGuide18 by December 15th to receive 15% off your order.)

K9 Salute: Not only do they provide delicious dog treats that honor fallen K9 service dogs, but the company also donates to military and police K9 units, so they can buy supplies like protective vests for the animals. The veteran founder uses proceeds to help military veterans get service dogs.

Precious Paw Prints: Created by U.S. Marine Corps veteran Kiersten Carlin, they sell over 500 different products, from bandanas to collars, to help you and your pet cheer on your favorite team or just celebrate the holidays.

TOYS, TECH AND BOOKS

Misc Holiday Gift Logos

Wallabox: The perfect stocking stuffer for phone fanatics to support a milspouse business. A universal cell phone holder and wall mount, it comes with 3M removable, non-damaging strips, foam tape and screws all included.

Pressed—A Creative Space: This milspouse-owned store in North Carolina carries products made by other military spouses. Their online store can ship anywhere in the U.S. and includes items ranging from T-shirts and coffee mugs to handbags and journals.

A15 Publishing: Veteran-owned and operated, this publishing company works to publish veteran and military family stories. Check them out for a list of their published works.

Flags of Valor: This company has employed 60 combat veterans over its four years of crafting rustic wooden American flags. 

Stuffed Squadrons: They offer adorable hand-knit planes that are customized to replicate specific military aircraft. If your service member flies in one of their models, this toy makes a perfect stocking stuffer for everyone on your list.

Rollors: The newest yard game to hit barbecues and beaches, Rollors Players “roll” disks at the goal and points are awarded to the player/team that positions their disks closest to the goal. From conception amidst deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, to testing prototypes after returning home, Matt Buttler's yard game utilizes the woodworking passion of local veterans by employing them to create the pieces for the game. 

Redline Steel: Redline Steel is a customized decor manufacturing company inspired by design and relentless innovation to bring a level of quality unprecedented to what's been seen in home decor. The company is veteran owned and operated and 100% manufactured in the United States.

Teak and Twine: This veteran-owned company works to "make gift boxes that people talk about, share and actually keep." Pick between gift boxes with chocolates, bath products, alcohol and more. 

Dashfire Beards: "Serve your beard like you served your country," the Dashfire website reads. This veteran-owned company sells (and uses) beard oil. 

Mountain Mat: The premium all-purpose outdoor plastic mat that RVers, Campers, and Picnickers are all raving about. It's 100% recycled and 100% veteran-made. 

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