After years of honorable service, you will have likely accrued many medals. And, upon retirement, you will likely wish to show the fruits of your labor on prominent display.
And, while there is nothing wrong with using the lift-out tray of your trunk to serve as a make-shift shadow box, you may wish for a public display for the proof of your military service.
That is why you may wish to consider purchasing a military shadow box to hold your precious military memorabilia.
Why purchase a shadow box?
A shadow box is a way of preserving one’s most important memories. Think of them as a picture frame for items; like a picture frame, a shadow box generally protects the items inside from major wear and tear, especially when mounted appropriately.
If you earned military medals, you likely place a great deal of value on them, and you certainly don’t want them getting dirty or worn. You don’t want to risk them being damaged by a good-hearted but overzealous grandchild, or batted around by a curious pet.
Having these medals out for public display would put them in harm’s way; having them behind the glass of a shadow box indicates to all that these are not to be touched, but to be admired from a distance.
Furthermore, a shadow box can be customized to reflect your personal tastes and opinions. Most companies who assemble shadow boxes respect the effort that went into earning your medals and will assemble your box in a manner that is aesthetically pleasing and respectful.
Should you have a specific way that you wish for your box to be assembled, most companies will allow you significant customization options, to put one medal prominently in the box, to engrave something significant on the box, whatever you wish.
What can I expect from a shadow box?
Depending on what you want to be displayed in your shadow box, you can have anything from a frame for a single medal all the way to a large display case for dozens of medals and a flag, with options in between.
So, your expectations should be that a shadow box will contain whatever you wish for it to contain.
Further, you should expect that a shadow box will be solid of construction while having an element of understated class with a solid, usually wooden frame.
One other note; while the front of the display may appear to be fragile, most shadow boxes are made with shatter-resistant acrylic glass, ensuring that your medals are viewable, but cannot be unintentionally damaged if the box should fall.
How much do they cost?
Most companies will have numerous price options, depending on what you want. While you can certainly purchase your own box and assemble it as you so wish, having a company professionally fill your box will ensure that the job is done by professionals who have filled thousands, if not millions, of such boxes.
The only issue is that hiring somebody to fill your box for you will be more expensive than filling the box yourself. Prices can often range from $119 for a smaller shadow box to over $300 for a larger box with a flag case.
While that cost may seem significant, remember that you are displaying medals you earned while serving the military; paying that extra amount will ensure that your medals receive the utmost care and are placed in a shadow box with enough care to ensure they are not disturbed or accidentally damaged.
Remember that the point of a shadow box is to display the most prominent and important memories and medals of your service. So, you should take into consideration what is most important to you, what you wish to be prominently displayed in your house, and have a box assembled around those items.