5 Ways to Say I Love You to Your Service Member

Whether they’re near or far, it’s a great gesture to remind loved ones of all …

Whether they’re near or far, it’s a great gesture to remind loved ones of all the traits you adore in them.

This holiday doesn’t have to be about romance; it also gives you a chance to let dear ones know what they mean to you.

With our five ideas below, you can skip right past the candy hearts and expensive roses. These ideas work well not only for spouses, but also for significant others, friends, and adult children who are serving.

Ready to show love a little differently this Valentine’s Day? Here’s 5 ways:

1. Valentine’s Day Care Package

Everybody loves a good care package. These don’t have to be reserved just for when your loved one is deployed. Opening a thoughtfully pieced-together package by you will warm their heart, especially when you fill it with their favorite goodies.

If they’re deployed, you may want to include:

  • Calling cards
  • Favorite candies
  • Handwritten letter or handcrafted card
  • Personal care items (deodorant, soap, chapstick)
  • Portable media player loaded with love songs
  • Picture collage cut into heart shapes  

Pick up your FREE military care kit boxes at any local post office. Each box in this kit is pre-approved to ship to APO/FPO addresses. The kit includes 6 boxes, tape, labels, and customs forms.

If they’re home, care package ideas may include:

  • Gift cards to favorite stores
  • A handcrafted card
  • Favorite candies or goodies
  • Home-baked goods
  • Flowers from your garden
  • Bottle of champagne or favorite wine
  • Photo album with printed pictures

You can get a little more creative when you don’t have to fit all your items perfectly into a standard U.S. Postal Service box.  Colorful boxes or pretty baskets can be arranged beautifully by you. If you’re not crafty, a local gift or florist shop may also offer gift basket arrangements.

2. Write Letters

Find the perfect words to let them know how you feel. They’ll love opening a personalized letter. It’s better than a text any day of the week.

If they’re deployed:

  • Tap off a message. You can always use the Sandboxx app to swiftly send off a letter with pictures right from your phone.
  • If you have the time, take your thoughts to paper with a pen. Handwritten notes are nice, too. If you’re writing to a significant other, spraying your favorite cologne or perfume on the letter is a nice touch to remind them of you.

If they’re home:

  • Leave little love letters around the house. You can send them on a scavenger hunt to find each one.
  • Send a letter S.W.A.K. Drop a letter or Valentine’s Day card in the mail to them if they’re home but not living close by.

3. Get Creative

You don’t have to be Martha Stewart to get a little crafty. Pinterest offers a ton of ideas, but you can also keep it simple. Sometimes the simplest gifts are the best ones.

If they’re deployed:

  • While those USPS postal boxes may be plain, the inside doesn’t have to be. Line the inside of the box with printed scrapbook paper you can find at any local craft store. Fill it with heart-shaped notes, photos, and more.
  • If you have kids, encourage them to get hands-on. Have them write a message on decorated paper or cardboard hearts about why they love their service member.
  • Create a wrapped candy collage in the shape of a heart. Valentine’s Day candy is always appreciated — just don’t send anything that melts, unless it melts their heart!

If they’re home:

  • Give them breakfast in bed. Make pancakes in the shape of hearts.
  • Show your love. Hang a paper heart garland across a doorway with love notes.
  • Create a huge sign with 20 reasons why you love them. Hang it up where they’ll see it first thing in the morning.

4. Create a Private Photo Album

In this day and age, most everyone has too many pictures and not enough wall space to hang them all. Share your favorite camera-worthy moments and create a virtual photo album with precious memories for your loved one to enjoy.

If they’re deployed:

  • Photos are a great way to capture memories to share at a later date. If your loved one is deployed, they miss a lot of the day-to-day activities. Send them off in a Sandboxx letter with ease right from your phone.
  • Create a photo cloud. Keep them updated with an online photo album that they can access at any time. Upload a few pictures each day to keep them in the loop of what’s going on in your life. It’s a nice distraction from deployment while also keeping them connected to you.

If they’re home:

  • Design a printed photo album to give to them in person. Print off those hundreds of iPhone pics and create some more storage on your phone again! They’ll love flipping through old memories with you.

5. Record a Personalized Message

It’s good to hear a familiar voice. Most service members love hearing the voices of their loved ones, especially when they’re deployed. You can send a message that they can play over and over and never tire of no matter how much they hear it.

If they’re deployed:

  • Record a video of yourself talking to your service member. You can do this on your cell phone, and turn it into a file to email. Or, add it to a flash drive and send it off in a care package. Let your service member know how much you miss and love them. If you have the time, record yourself over a period of a week or so and let them know how your day to day life is going. It may seem mundane, but those are the details service members miss the most while deployed.

If they’re home:

  • Record a video and send it to them at any time during the day. While you may see them in-person now, they’ll still appreciate you taking the time to send a special message just because.You can list off 10 things you love most about them, or even recall a funny story or moment that you shared with them.
  • Go live on the big screen. Gather a collection of video messages from friends and family who love your service member to create a personalized video. Have the video message set up and waiting for them on the big screen to play. It can also be saved and brought with them when they do have to deploy.

Say I Love You in Your Own Way

However, you choose to say I ❤️ you on Valentine’s Day, do it your way. It will make it more memorable and meaningful to the person receiving the sentiment.  

Cupid’s day doesn’t have to be just about chocolates, roses, or champagne, either. While those gifts are nice, none of those items lasts for very long. If you’re looking for a sentimental gift to give, try one of the above ideas to surprise your service member.

No matter what you give them this holiday, they’ll love it just because it came from you.

And, remember, Valentine’s Day isn’t just for couples. There’s lots of ways to spread the love.

Even if you don’t have a service member or significant other, you can still show some love to troops and vets. You can always stop by your local USO, VFW, or even a recruiting station to pass out Valentine’s Day goodies.

They’ll love you for it.

The editorial team at Sandboxx.