Valentine’s Day is once again upon us, bringing with it a barrage of chalk-flavored candy hearts and hard chocolates that taste like burnt plastic. But for many a service member serving at home and abroad, it’s a reminder of profound loneliness.
If you’re not a cynical single person, you might be wondering how to celebrate the day with someone you love. Here are some suggestions — with a military twist.
Plan a sleepover. Nothing says “I love you” like sneaking your significant other onto the base. Barracks bunks are renowned for their romance.
Paintball. If you’re into action over romance, you can try outright savagery in place of Cupid’s arrow. Don’t shoot your partner with a bow — instead, mercilessly destroy them at point blank range with .68-caliber paint spheres.
Raid Area 51. Go on a couples camping trip in the Nevada desert. Do some hiking. Find the aliens you know the Air Force is hiding.
Stargaze. Chances are you probably don’t work for NORAD, but with all the UFO activity going in American airspace, you and your lover might just spot the next Chinese spy balloon.
Prepare a romantic dinner. Candlelight, check. Tablecloth, check. Real silverware, check. Cooking, nope. That’s okay. Uncle Sam has you covered with 24 different culinary options in the form of MREs. Just don’t mention “a rock or something” unless you’re planning to propose.
Netflix and chill. Sit at home on your couch. Prepare a movie queue featuring such military greats as “Black Hawk Down,” “Saving Private Ryan,” or “Top Gun.” Nothing sets the mood quite like watching an erotic, shirtless volleyball scene.
Tap rack bang.
Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digitial Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.