After you sign the separation papers and enjoy your farewell party, there’s nothing left but to relax and enjoy the freedom. Once you get that new, shiny civilian job you’ll need to make room for the updated wardrobe of suits and ties. As you slide your hangers over to make room, you come across 6 tops and 5 pants, collected over several years of service and a few deployments, not to mention the plethora of undershirts that claimed all of your drawer space. Here are a few ideas on what to do with those uniforms.
Give Them to Mom
Your mom, or any family member, would be honored to have a piece of your military service. They supported you through your career; it’s a loving way to repay them. It may not seem like much to you – you could go buy them a brand new uniform if they really wanted one – but that’s not the point. It’s a token they will appreciate and share with guests for years to come. You can bet it will be pulled out every Thanksgiving and Christmas to show new friends and family.
Donate Them to Airman’s Attic
Remember when you first joined the military and you were given a nice, new set of uniforms? Then, as you aged and grew, you needed to purchase new ones. Once you got to clothing stores you were shocked at the price; $45 for pants?! Now is your chance to make some new kid’s life much easier. Find the nearest military base, preferably one that will take your specific uniform. For example, unless you are at a joint base, Marine thrift stores may not want Air Force uniforms.
Create a Shadow Box
Shadow boxes are usually reserved for retirees with a lot of rank, ribbons, and accomplishments. However, there’s no reason you can’t make one for yourself. Take your ribbons, rank, insignia and medals and arrange them in a shadow box from your local craft store. You can hang it somewhere in your home to display, or you can store it to look at later. Either way, one day you’ll want to look at those tiny pieces of hardware and relive those stories.
Take one quick look on Pinterest and you’ll find dozens of ideas on how to give your old uniforms new life. Beginner crafters can make a quilt out of different uniforms and patches received from different AORs and locations. A pillow would serve as a great reminder to someone who is in a long distance relationship. Advanced crafters could make an article of clothing for your children, or a niece and nephew.
Decluttering is a great way to begin a new phase of life. Whether you are retiring or separating, there is no need to have a stack of uniforms taking up space in your closet. You could create something to display in your own home or as a gift for a loved one. No matter what you decide to do with old uniforms, know that they have had a great history and your memories will live on through them.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.