Father's Day Gift Ideas for Deployed Dads

Making dad feel closer to home on his special day.


If you're fortunate enough to have your husband or father with you at home for Father's Day, that makes planning a celebration pretty straightforward. It's just a matter of being thoughtful and doing something to show him you care. The gifts don't matter nearly as much as spending time together as a family.

But what if he's on deployment somewhere across the country or overseas? It's tough being separated for any holiday, but don't get discouraged – you just have to be a little more creative. Luckily, there are countless ways to show him you care, so hopefully the ideas here will provide enough inspiration to get your creative juices flowing.

You Can't Go Wrong With Food

Father's Day gift ideas don't have to be complicated. Food is always a good option. You know what he likes – you can't go wrong sending some of his favorite snacks. Or maybe there's something special, something unexpected and decadent that would make his day.

Remember that shipping homemade food is kind of a risky endeavor as you never know if it'll show up fresh and intact. If you're going to go that route, just make sure it's well packed. You don't have to worry as much with pre-packed food from the store, but either option is sure to make him feel closer to home and boost his spirits.

If your husband or father likes gourmet cake – and who doesn't – wireacake.com and bakemeawish.com are two of the most trusted options for shipping them overseas to deployed service members.

Ask Him What He Wants 

If you want to send a more traditional gift instead of, or in addition to, his favorite food, simply asking him what he wants (or needs) is a great place to start. Keep in mind that anything you send that's not edible, he'll have to lug home with him at the end of his tour. Many service members also have limited space as well so it's not always a great idea to send a bunch of superfluous gifts. Some of the best gifts could be things he truly needs and would use every day to make life a little easier, like a couple fresh pairs of socks, insect repellant or a handheld fan. The only way to find out what he needs is to ask!


Involve the Kids 

Every deployed dad loves to receive photographs – to see how his kids have grown and keep him motivated as he serves our country. Father's Day gifts are no different. A photo album would make a great gift, but if money's tight there's nothing wrong with going digital. He'd probably be just as happy to get an e-mail stuffed full of photos.

Be sure to include a wide variety of photos and get your kids involved. One idea I like is to have your kids hold up homemade signs with special messages. Give them creative freedom and see what they come up with! Dad will appreciate the love and support and you get to spend time working on a fun arts and crafts project as a family.

Other Ideas 

Food and photos aside, sometimes you have to branch out with something more creative. If he has regular access to a computer, a personalized mouse pad with a family photo would make a great gift for Father's Day. You can make one at WalMart for about $10.

Another customizable option is a pillow case. It may seem kind of cheesy to some, but putting your picture on a pillow can provide some comfort as he wakes up every morning to see your smiling face.

All things considered, just have fun! This is your chance to make dad feel special, so however you choose to do that as a family is sure to lift his spirits, show him he's appreciated and help him have a happy Father's Day.

Jake Butler

About the author: Jake Butler

Jake Butler is a staff writer at Pioneer Services who understands the challenges facing modern military families. He writes informative and entertaining pieces about military life, financial education and everything in between. Follow Jake on Google+.

Contact: Jake Butler


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