Retiring from the military is a time filled with tons of emotions from happiness to sadness. As you lay down your boots and gun, you have a lot to look back on and be proud of. Military medals and uniforms make up your career from the moment you signed up to the day you retired. You want to preserve these items and keep them safe for many years to come.
The biggest key to preserving your military uniform is to protect it from the elements of the weather and temperature changes. With the proper steps taken, your uniform and medals will be preserved for many years and you can pass them down to your future generations.
Below, we will look at the steps you should take to preserve your uniform and these steps, when taken, can help you keep your uniform crisp and clean.
Get Your Uniform Cleaned FIRST
You never want to store a dirty uniform or one that has not been cleaned properly. Before you store your military uniform, do take it to be professionally dry cleaned. If you prefer not to have it dry cleaned, take time to learn how to clean it and wash it appropriately.
You must make sure that ALL pieces of the uniform are clean and dry BEFORE you store them. If you do not, you will find that the damp areas mildew and ruin the uniform.
Choose the Best Storage Method
To best preserve your military uniform, you want to store it in a container or box that is as flat as possible. You should avoid any rivets or dips in the uniform as, over time, these can become permanent in the fabric.
In addition, you want to avoid hanging up the uniform, as while it may seem like a good idea, the uniform can take on the shape of the hanger over time and result in a misshapen uniform.
If you are unable to find a flat box or container, look for a storage box that is specifically made for archival storage. These boxes come made from acid-free paper and they are 100 percent safe to use for your uniform. As you shop for one of these boxes, buy one that is slightly larger than the uniform so that there is some wiggle room and you do not have to force the uniform into the box.
Get a Climate-Controlled Storage Unit
If you plan to store the military uniform in a storage unit nearby, ONLY choose a climate-controlled unit. Extreme weather, temperature, and humidity changes can lead to the deterioration of the fabric.
You also want to store the uniform in a dark place so that light does not beat down on the box or uniform itself as this can lead to fading of the colors.
Lastly, remove all metals and extra accessories and store them separately.
Keep Your Military Uniform Preserved for Years
With the proper storage, you can preserve your military uniform for years after retirement. Do check on your uniform often to ensure it is still in great condition and make any needed adjustments to it.