This happens to me every so often. And it happened this year.
Back when Ben was finishing up his initial training in the Army, he got this really cool looking flight jacket. The jackets were made for everyone personally, with their pick of patches and name embroidered on the front:
Ben didn't like the huge back patches they offered. They all had the "Kill the Insurgents" theme with skulls and daggers and all that. He felt, and I don't blame him (I am actually proud of him), that killing people wasn't the reason he joined the military... so he told the jacket makers to leave the back patch off. They gladly complied, and Ben found this really nice Eagle and flag one:
And the boys adore it! So much in fact, that a long time ago, I found this little brown flight jacket at the DI (Deseret Industries, a thrift store) WAY before Ben joined the Army and the kids only showed interest in it AFTER their daddy came home sporting a similar one. Now, for the last 2 or so years, the kids fight over this little gem every time we go out:
military sites and pricing patches for Ben's uniform when, much to my utter delight, I came across this:
Smith and Edwards had ALL the patches I was looking for! I even checked with the "specialist" there to make sure I wasn't going to put patches on my kid's coats that shouldn't be worn by anyone but a service member. One of my biggest fears is some high ranking guy coming up and telling me that my kids aren't allowed to wear "such and such." The patch expert was really helpful and helped me pick out some patches that were like Dad's.
Then when the coats came, for several nights I stitched patches on the coats. The only thing I didn't do was put their name on it (I don't think that's very safe for kids). I was so excited to see their little faces on Christmas morning that I could hardly stand it!! I wrapped both the presents in the same box, so they could open it together and made it so it was the LAST thing they opened. Here's what happened: