What is a unique or more tangible Air Force or “Support our Troops”-related sympathy gift?
June 26, 2008 12:58 PM   Subscribe

What is a unique or more tangible Air Force or “Support our Troops”-related sympathy gift?

A dear friend of the family recently lost her father in an unexpected accident. Her dad was a retired Colonel from the Air Force, which of course played a huge part in his life and was his passion. He took historic flights …in particular with the B-47. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, they would like contributions made to organizations that support our troops. I found that the Air Force Aid Society is the official charity of the US Air Force. I could always just make a donation to them in his name, but I still feel like that isn’t quite “special” enough. I would like to find something where I could purchase a personalized brick for an Air Force memorial fund, or buying a tree in a special location…..something along those lines. But I haven’t found anything in my google search. Thoughts?

Also, what is generally considered a decent amount to spend on a bereavement gift (be in flowers, donations, food, etc)?
posted by texas_blissful to Human Relations (8 answers total)

You could send a personalized package in his honor to an Airman listed on AnySoldier.com. A personalized brick is nice but her father sounds like the kind of guy who might want you to help an actual soldier who is on the line right now.
posted by sharkfu at 1:42 PM on June 26, 2008

Anysoldier.com is a wonderful suggestion.

Also look at Fisher House, which helps military family members stay close to their loved ones when the service members have been hospitalized at a VA or other military medical center.
posted by MonkeyToes at 2:04 PM on June 26, 2008

This is more of a practical item, but in my recent Amazon order, there was a bag for donating old cell phones to help troops contact family and friends back home. I have one now that's about to be replaced, and if it hadn't been for that I probably would've just looked for a place to recycle it instead, so i figured I'd throw it out there for everyone to take into consideration.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 3:01 PM on June 26, 2008

Well, looking at the web site a bit more, it appears the phones are only collected to get proceeds from recycling, which are then used to buy calling cards. Still a good idea.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 3:06 PM on June 26, 2008

"Project Valour-IT, in memory of SFC William V. Ziegenfuss, helps provide voice-controlled and adaptive laptop computers to wounded Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines recovering from hand wounds and other severe injuries at major military medical centers. Operating laptops by speaking into a microphone or using other adaptive technologies, our wounded heroes are able to send and receive messages from friends and loved ones, surf the 'Net, and communicate with buddies still in the field."
posted by Class Goat at 3:42 PM on June 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

Something I probably should have added to that:

With all due respect, I think that a "tangible gift" would be less special than one which helps soldiers and veterans who are still alive. If you knew your friend's father, do you think he would really want his name on a brick somewhere? If he was like the career men I've known, what he'd be most concerned about is his mates, especially those who are wounded.

Real heroes are not interested in fame for themselves.
posted by Class Goat at 3:46 PM on June 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

I know that calling cards sound boring...but...think about how many times you've heard "I would have given anything for one last phone call." Your friend was unable to talk to her dad one more time. Maybe by donating phone cards (via anysolider) you can help a service member talk with his or her child. Then write a note to your friend to that effect. If her father ever served away from home, she will appreciate what a phone call can mean.

So sorry to hear your news.
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:56 PM on June 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Project Valour-IT would be great for us since my husband served as a surgeon in the military. I also like the calling card idea. Thanks!
posted by texas_blissful at 5:44 AM on June 27, 2008

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