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Veterans Day: Discounts and freebies available for veterans

SAN DIEGO -- Each year businesses honor veterans and service members, as well as their families, with Veterans Day discounts on goods, services, and dining.

Keep in mind that most businesses require proof of military service, which can include a VA Universal Access Card, Military I.D., DD-214 (discharge papers), Veterans Service Organization Card (VSO's include groups like the VFW, DAV, AmVets, MOAA, FRA, and the American Legion), or in some cases, businesses will accept a picture of the veteran in uniform.

The following is a list of 2012 Veteran and military discounts and buy one, get one (BOGO) offerings. This year's offerings even include some honest-to-goodness free meals. Do note that not all franchise locations participate in their national chain's Veterans Day programs - be sure contact your nearest establishment to make sure they are participating.

Veterans Day restaurant offerings

7-Eleven: Offering veterans and service members a free small slurpee on Sunday Nov. 11.

Applebees: All Veterans and active duty military eat free from a limited menu at Applebee's on Sunday, Nov.11.

BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse: On Monday, Nov. 12, at BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse veterans and service members will be able to get a free lunch entree or a one-topping mini or individual pizza.

Chili's: Veterans and active duty dine for free from a special limited seven-item menu from 11 am to 5 pm on Veterans Day.

Denny’s Restaurants: All-you-can-eat Pancakes. Participating Denny’s restaurants will be offering an all-you-can-eat pancakes meal on Monday, Nov. 12. Remember to call ahead and verify that your local Denny’s is participating.

Famous Dave's: Free or discounted meals on Veterans Day. Offer varies by location.

Golden Corral: Golden Corral Restaurants' Military Appreciation Monday free dinner will be available on Monday, Nov. 12, from 4-9 pm. Military retirees, Veterans, active duty, National Guard and Reserves are all welcome.

Hooters: All Veterans and active duty get 10 Free Boneless Wings with the purchase of a drink.

Krispy Kreme: All active-duty, retirees & Veterans get a free doughnut and small coffee on Veterans Day. Be sure to call ahead to verify your local Krispy Kreme is participating.

Little Caesars® Pizza: Little Caesars will honor members – past and present – of the armed forces on Monday, Nov. 12, by providing veterans and active military members with a free Crazy Bread® with proof of military status or proof of service at participating stores nationwide.

Lone Star Steakhouse: On Monday, Nov. 12, all veterans and active duty military will receive a FREE entrée from our Stars & Stripes Menu. See your local restaurant for details. Be sure to call ahead to verify local participation.

Max and Erma's On Veterans Day, Sunday, Nov. 11, participating Max & Erma's locations are saluting veterans and active military personnel with a free Best Cheeseburger in America Combo.

McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurants – On Nov. 11, participating McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurants offer a complimentary entree to vets from a special menu on a space available basis, online reservations are highly recommended. Be sure to contact your local McCormick & Schmick's to ensure they are participating.

O'Charley's: O’Charley’s will thank veterans and active duty military personnel, celebrating their service, by providing them with a complimentary meal on Monday, Nov. 12. With their military I.D. or other proof of service, servicemen and women will receive their choice of meal from the O’Charley’s “$9.99er” menu.

Outback Steakhouse: On Nov. 11-12, Outback will be offering Veterans and service members a Free Bloomin' Onion and Coca-Cola product (non-alcoholic) beverage. In addition, Outback is offering all military service members and veterans who present a proper ID* or a photo in uniform, will receive a 10% discount off their entire guest check.

Sizzler Steak House: Veterans and service members can get a free lunch on Monday Nov. 12 until 4 pm. The limited menu includes 3 entrees – 6 oz. Steak, Malibu Chicken, or a Half Dozen Fried Shrimp. Check if your local restaurant is offering the Veterans Day freebie.

T.G.I. Friday's: Veterans and Service members can get a free lunch on Monday, Nov. 12. Contact your nearest location for more details on their Veterans Day offer.

The Olive Garden: Veterans and service members can get a free entrée choice from a special menu. The entrée choices include garlic bread sticks and choice of soup or salad. The offer is good on Sunday, Nov. 11 at locations in both US and Canada.

Texas Roadhouse: Texas Roadhouse locations – nationwide – will offer veterans a free lunch on Monday, Nov. 12. Choose from one of 10 free meals, plus sides and a drink. Offer good for ALL veterans – including all active, retired or former U.S. military.

UNO Chicago Grill: Veterans and active military members can get a free entrée or individual pizza with the purchase of an entrée or pizza of equal or greater value. This offer is good from Sunday, Nov. 11 through Monday, Nov. 12. Military ID or proof of service is required, but no coupon is needed.

In addition, the following restaurants offer discounts, but you may find that not all locations participate:




Burger King

Carl's Jr.

Chevy's Fresh Mex




Dunkin' Donuts



Long John Silver's


Panda Express

Pizza Hut


Red Robin


Taco Bell


Numerous travel and recreation business are also offering Veterans Day discounts, including:

Aqua Hotels & Resorts: 10% off for veterans.

Bolongo Bay Beach Resort, US Virgin Islands: Active and retired military get 30% off room-only rates and $150 in island credits. The offer is available on a minimum four-night stay between Nov. 1-30, subject to availability.

JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa: Special rates for members of the military and first responders for stays beginning Veterans Day (Nov. 11) through Jan. 3, 2013.

Active duty and retired members of the military are asked to request the Salute to Service rate (rate code: GOV) when they make their room reservations HERE or by calling the toll-free telephone number, 866-882-4420. A military or service I.D. is required at check-in.

Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort: Active and retired military receive special rates and discounts on golf and amenities from November 8 - 11, including resort hotel room discounts, discounts off golf packages, and discounts on beach and umbrella rentals.

Skyridge Inn Bed & Breakfast: Free night stay. The Sky Ridge Inn B&B in Torrey, Utah is offering a free night stay to a veteran and a single guest. This offer is limited by availability of rooms. Reserving ahead of time is recommended. For reservations call 435-425-3222.

In addition, the following travel-related companies offer discounts, but you may find that not all locations participate: Ask!


Best Western

Choice Hotels

Continental Airlines

Cruise lines (most)

Hyatt Hotels

Marriott Hotels Wyndham Hotels and Resorts

Veterans Day Retailer Offerings:

AARP Driver Safety: Get a free AARP Driver Safety classroom course or 50% off an online course.

Banana Republic: Veterans, military personnel and their families can get 50 percent off three full-priced items from Nov. 12-15. Service members, veterans and families who shop at Banana Republic on Nov. 13 also can participate in special events geared towards helping veterans find jobs, including interview and resume tips from an HR expert, styling advice and refreshments.

Cabela’s Outdoor Store: Veteran's Day weekend, Cabela's outdoor store is offering their employee discount to all veterans, active duty military and reserves, law enforcement, fire and EMS personnel on Nov. 11 and 12. Dubbed a "Hometown Heroes" event, eligible shoppers will need to check in at a table at the store to receive a coupon for the discount.

Grace for Vets: Car washes from around the world who join this program offer free car washes to veterans and service members on Nov. 11.

Home Depot: Offers a 10 percent discount to all Veterans during Veterans Day, Memorial Day and Independence Day. Home Depot offers the 10 percent discount year round to for active duty and retirees.

Lowe's: All Veterans receive the 10-percent discount on Veteran's Day, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. The offer is available in stores only and is limited to in-stock and special-order purchases of up to $5,000.

Sleep Number Stores: This year Sleep number is offering a couple of discounts. Among these are $600.00 off on all I8 or M7 beds, 30% off all bedding items, and 0% interest on 24 months financing. This is only available to military and veterans. This special is going on now through Nov. 18. Contact your local store for more details.

Steve Madden: The shoe seller is doubling its everyday military discount for service members on Veterans Day, for a total 30 percent off all regular-priced merchandise. Bring a form of military identification (past or present) to a Steve Madden store.

Sonic Car Wash: FREE car wash to Veterans on Monday, Nov. 12.

Sportsclips: FREE haircut to active-duty military & veterans. Offer only available at select locations on Monday, Nov. 12. Additionally, offers 20% discount on all services and products to Military and Veterans every day. Sports Clips is currently participating in the Help-A-Hero program which provides free call time

The following Clothing and Shoes retailers offer discounts, but you may find that NOT all locations participate. Ask!


The Children's Place

Dress Barn

Fanzz (10%)

The Finish Line

Foot Action (15%)

Foot Locker (20%)

Hot Topic

Jos. A. Bank




New York & Company

Pac Sun


Timberland Outlets (active duty only)

Wilson's Leather

The following services companies offer discounts, but you may find that NOT all locations participate. Ask!

Car Care


Checker Auto Parts

General Motors

Jiffy Lube

Kragen Auto Parts


NAPA Auto Parts

Super Sonic Car Wash

Cell Phone Service Discounts






Other Freebies:

National Parks: Veterans Day weekend (Nov. 10-12) Veterans will be invited to visit over 100 National Parks for free.

Year-Round Veterans Discounts:

Brown Paper Tickets: Veterans, active U.S. military and their families, and the families of those who gave their lives for this country are eligible for free tickets donated by Brown Paper Tickets, and by sports teams and venues producing concerts, classes and even the Super Bowl, by registering HERE.

Foot Locker: Veterans, Service members (Active, Guard, and Reserve), and their immediate families with a Foot Locker Veterans Advantage Card receive a 20 percent discount every day of the year. That offer is good both online and at any store location, including Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker, Footaction and Champs Sports — even on sale items.

Home Depot: Offers a 10 percent discount (up to a $500 maximum) to all active military, reserve, retired or disabled Veterans and their family members with a valid military ID. All other Veterans qualify for a 10 percent discount during Veterans Day, Memorial Day and Independence Day.

Lowe's: Lowe's offers a year-round 10 percent discount offer for all active duty, National Guard and Reserve, retirees and disabled Service members and their immediate families. All other Veterans receive the 10-percent discount on Veteran's Day, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. The discount is available on in-stock and special order purchases of up to $5,000. The offer can't be used on sales at Lowes.com, on previous sales or on sales of services or gift cards. You must present a valid military I.D. card to receive the discount.