For military veterans, service will always be at their heart.
After the responsibility and honor of serving your country, civilian life is never going to be the same.
As a military veteran, you have passed through the rigors of training and disciplining the body and mind, submitting your will to a greater cause as you and your fellows work to defend your nation.
It’s no surprise if you want to continue exercising your skills and discipline in a hobby, that gives you an escape from what may be a more mundane or slower pace of daily life.
Hobbies are a really productive use of your downtime and having something that you can put your energies into will greatly enrich your quality of life.
4 key reasons hobbies are a great pastime for veterans
- Patriotism: If your hand is on your heart when you hear the first tones of the Star-Spangled Banner you will definitely thrive on a hobby that continues your love of your nation and willingness to build up others.
- Continue to give back: Military vets will always be ready to step up and serve and there are so many pursuits where you can help and encourage others.
- Teamwork: Working with others to achieve a common goal is definitely fostered by military life. Hobbies, where you continue to exercise that team spirit, will be satisfying.
- Fellowship: You may not have had a “Band of Brothers” experience, but vets often miss the camaraderie and company of their fellow servicemen. The right hobby will provide the building blocks for lifelong friendships, just like those of your army days.
Whether you have served in the Army, Navy, or Air Force, your sense of duty and work ethic will definitely influence your recreation choices and in many ways, veterans are uniquely equipped to excel at a new hobby.
Start your search for an amazing pastime with our 7 hobbies for veterans. These pastimes have been selected for you to continue to exercise your “BE ALL YOU CAN BE” attitude, either alone or with others.
7 Hobbies all military vets would enjoy
1. Create delicious outdoor cuisine with Dutch Oven cooking.
If your military days have left you with a love of the great outdoors, you will love the hard work and satisfying flavors that come with mastering Dutch Oven cooking. Did you know that the Dutch Oven is the official state cooking implement of Texas?
You will soon see why as you bring out your inner cowboy with delicious, roasts, casseroles, and baked treats cooked in cast iron over hot coals.
Using these large heavy iron lidded pans that are heated with hot coals may be reminiscent of heating your military ration in hot water, but you and your guests will be eating a whole lot better.
There are Dutch Oven cooking groups and organizations across the US where you can meet and share entrees with like-minded outdoor cooking enthusiasts. Take a look at the type of feast you can enjoy with these great videos:
2. Enjoy giving back by joining the Boys and Girls Clubs of America!
As a military veteran, you will be familiar with the transformative effect of getting the right training and support and you may want to pursue a hobby that allows you to help young people not only stay on the right tracks but thrive.
Boys and Girls Clubs of America is a great way of exercising your protective and nurturing instincts in activities including sports, cooking, and robotics. They have a very diverse range of programs and chapters in most metropolitan districts.
3.Harvest delicious seasonal game by Hunting alone or with friends
As a military vet, you will know how to safely use a firearm, and hunting is a great way to exercise those skills (and wear your camo). In the US, licensed hunters enjoy high-quality game from a range of animals including white-tailed deer, turkey, feral hogs, and doves.
Hunting is about much so much more than guns. You will have to learn how to field dress your prey and store and cook it too. Large animals like boar or bison will not only fill your freezer, but can be shared with others too.
The state-issued licenses are usually purchased for the season from the Environmental Department or Parks and Wildlife Department. All US hunters also have to complete a Hunter Education Course to ensure that they keep themselves and others safe in the field.
4.Create beautiful objects with woodturning
Woodturning is an all-American craft that is used to create beautiful objects and utensils. If you are looking for a relaxing hobby at an easy pace you cannot do better!
Traditional woodturning involves carving and shaping a piece of wood as it rotates on a lathe. You will develop the skills of a master craftsperson as you experiment on projects ranging from classic bowls to pens and even baseball bats.
If you cherish the outdoors and our great American hardwoods what better way to enjoy the grain and visual qualities of woods like Sequoia, Walnut, and Cherry.
The Ashley Harwood channel on YouTube is excellent for beginner woodturning tutorials and projects.
5.Why not take up band?
Community concert bands and wind ensembles have a rich military heritage are a great way of being creative with others in your community. Wind bands are a real American tradition and may also include marching.
Dust off your bugle and polish your medals while you prepare a repertoire of classic marches with symphonic wind musicians from all walks of life.
Most amateur concert bands will meet up for rehearsals on a regular basis, gearing up for a concert once or twice per year.
Get inspired by the world-famous bandmaster Frederick Fennel conducting The US Field Artillery March by John Philip Sousa, the 19th century US Navy Sargeant Major famed for composing American military marches.
- Maintain your military fitness and have some good old fashioned fun with Obstacle Course Racing!
Obstacle Course Racing known as OCR has come a long way since the hilarious Japanese game shows like Takeshi’s Castle. The obstacle course racing format is more similar to Triathlon and has similar physical and endurance demands.
These timed races will pit you against a range of obstacles which vary in their elaborateness. You may find yourself having to swing, crawl, Wade and scramble much like you would do back in the army!
Races and groups are popping up right across the US, and there is even a push to have OCR included in the Olympic Games. Most games are convened by USA OCR, who can provide more information on how you can participate.
7.Keep time and formation while you tip your Stetson with Line Dancing!
If you are looking for a hobby that will give your social life a turbo boost, line dancing is definitely for you! You’re probably used to keeping in time on a quick march, and with line dancing you take things a step further with coordinated routines of increasing complexity.
This hobby has all the ingredients to become a real passion and you are sure to make plenty of friends.
As a military veteran you have so much to offer and it’s great when our ex-servicemen and women are thriving with enriching pastimes. We hope that one or perhaps a few of these hobbies for veterans will be not only good match but a great passion for the years to come!