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37 great Veterans Day discounts for food and fun

Knowing that many Police1 Members have served in our armed forces, I looked into which establishments across the country are providing deals on Veterans Day


The Wheeling (Ill.) Twin Peaks restaurant — where during ILEETA 2013 I (and a great many of my fellow law enforcement trainers) enjoyed meals on a nightly basis — is one of my places where service men and women eat free on Veterans Day 2013.

Image Courtesy of Twin Peaks

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This morning I received a handful of emails from companies with which I’ve signed up to get updates on available deals and discounts. It began with word from the Wheeling (Ill.) Twin Peaks restaurant — where during ILEETA 2013 I (and a great many of my fellow law enforcement trainers) enjoyed meals on a nightly basis. The Twin Peaks announcement indicated that “service men and women eat free on Veterans Day, November 11.”

Quickly perusing my inbox for similar announcements, I found the press release from Hooters restaurants saying that on Veterans Day, “Hooters invites all veterans and current servicemen and women to enjoy a free meal, up to $10.99 in value with any drink purchase, by presenting a military ID or proof of service at any Hooters location across the country.”

During just about every commercial break in last night’s Stanford 26-20 win over Oregon (woo-hoo!) on ESPN, there was a reminder that Applebee’s is once again providing a free meal to military veterans and active-duty service members on Veterans Day.

Many Great Discounts
Knowing that many Police1 members have served in our armed forces — some of you continue to serve in the Guard and Reserves — I thought it prudent to do some research into what establishments across the country are providing similar deals. Happily, the United States Army had already compiled a pretty complete list.

This week, the Army News Service sent out a press release containing dozens of businesses across the nation that will be giving discounts and running promotions for veterans.

“Many establishments — from retailers, restaurants, hotels, cell phone providers, automobile services, insurance agencies, recreational sites, movie theaters, sports and entertainment venues, travel services and others — offer military discounts on Veterans Day and throughout the year,” ANS said.

Please be advised that all the offers listed below are subject to change or may not be offered at a particular location. You’ll be well served if you call ahead to confirm a publicized discount and to ask what proof of military service they might require upon your arrival.

Here’s what the Army put out. There are almost certainly other companies out there not listed. If you know of one you don’t see here, please add it in the comments area below.

Applebee’s: Free meal. Last year, Applebee’s served over one million free meals to military veterans and active service members. Applebee’s is again offering a free meal to military veterans and active-duty service members on Veterans Day. There will be seven entrées to choose from. Beverage and gratuity are not included.

Bar Louie: Free meal. Active duty military members and veterans can receive a free meal, up to $10 in value, and a free non-alcoholic beverage.

Champps Americana: Free burger. The restaurant is celebrating veterans with an All American Meal. Offer not valid for the Pepperjack Bacon Stack Burger or Kobe Burger. Dine-in only and valid at participating locations.

Chili’s: Free meal. Chili’s is offering all military veterans past and present their choice of one of seven meals. The offer is available from 1100 to 1700 hours on November 11, at participating Chili’s. Dine-in from limited menu only. Beverages and gratuity are not included.

Denny’s: Free all-you-can-eat pancakes. Free all-you-can-eat pancakes from 0600 to 1400 hours.

Famous Dave’s: Free or discounted meals. Offer varies by location; please check the Famous Dave’s Veterans Day page or call your local restaurant for more information.

Fox & Hound and Bailey’s Sports Bar: Free item. Veterans and active duty military will receive a free item from the seven under $7 menu

Golden Corral: Free meal. The 13th annual Golden Corral Military Appreciation Monday dinner is available to any person who has ever served in the United States military. Golden Corral restaurants have provided over 3.2 million free meals and contributed over $6.1 million to the Disabled American Veterans organization.

Hooters: Free meal. Hooter’s is serving up a free meal to military veterans all day on Veterans Day. Get 10 free wings, boneless or regular. Drink purchase required. Offer valid at participating Hooters.

Krispy Kreme: Free doughnut and small coffee. Offer valid at participating Krispy Kreme stores.

Little Caesars Pizza: Free Crazy Bread. Little Caesars is honoring the men and women of the United States armed forces this Veterans Day with a free Crazy Bread at participating stores nationwide.

Lone Star Steakhouse: Free appetizer. Free appetizer for military members and veterans. Taste of Texas Sampler not included. ID required; please call ahead for verification.

Max & Erma’s: Free cheeseburger combo. Participating Max & Erma’s locations are offering military members and veterans a free Best Cheeseburger in America Combo, which includes tortilla soup or side Caesar salad, seasoned fries, and chocolate chip cookies.

McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants: Free lunch or dinner. On November 10, veterans will be able to choose a complimentary lunch or dinner entrée. Veterans must provide proof of military service. Valid at participating restaurants only. Space is limited; reservations are highly recommended.

Outback Steakhouse: Free Bloomin’ Onions and Coca-Cola products from November 8 to November 11. Outback Steakhouse is honoring America’s military veterans by offering active duty military and veterans a free Bloomin’ Onion and a Coca-Cola product during the week leading up to Veterans Day. This offer is available to military personnel with ID.

Sam’s Club: Free Hugo canes. Locations nationwide will distribute 36,000 Hugo canes free, November 9-11, to veterans in need of mobility assistance. Limited quantities available, while supplies last. Sam’s Club Membership is not required.

Sizzler Restaurants: Buy one, get one free. Buy one six ounce steak entrée, get one free.

Spaghetti Warehouse: Buy one, get one free. The Spaghetti Warehouse is running a “Take a veteran out to eat” promotion, November 10-11. Buy one Lasagne or any Original Spaghetti entrée, get one free, with coupon that can be found on their Facebook page.

Texas Roadhouse: Free lunch from 1100 to 1400 hours. Every Texas Roadhouse location across the country will participate in the free lunch event to honor the men and women of our armed forces. Choose from one of 10 free meals, plus sides and a drink.

T.G.I. Fridays: Free lunch. Wear uniform, if permitted by your service, or present military ID or other proof of service. Only valid at participating locations.

The Olive Garden: Free entrée. Offer good for veterans and active duty military, November 11, during regular business hours. Choose from a special menu; all entrées include freshly baked garlic sticks and choice of soup or salad. Offer good in U.S. and Canada.

Tim Hortons: Free doughnut. All U.S. locations are offering a free doughnut to all veterans.

7-Eleven: Free small Slurpee. Offer good from 1100 to 1900 hours.

Uno Chicago Grill: Buy one, get one free. Enjoy a free entrée or individual pizza, with the purchase of an entrée or pizza of equal or greater value.

Anheuser-Busch Parks: Free admission. Anheuser-Busch Parks offers active duty service members and up to three dependents free admission to any of their parks once a year. Not valid at Discovery Cove and Aquatica, or at Christmas Town at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg (Va.).

Colonial Williamsburg: Free admission. Colonial Williamsburg offers free weekend-long admission tickets to active duty military, reservists, retirees, veterans, and their immediate dependents, November 11-13.

Fee-Free Day at National Parks: To honor America’s service men and women, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced that areas managed by the National Park Service would not charge entrance fees for Veterans Day weekend to November 11. More than 100 national parks will be participating in this event.

Knott’s Berry Farm: free admission. Knott’s Berry Farm has an annual military tribute event in which it offers military members past and present free park admission.

Retailers Free MP3 album download. The free downloadable album “Veterans Day Honor” includes 12 songs as performed by the military bands and ensembles of the U.S. Armed Forces. Visit Amazon now through Veterans Day to download the album for free. The album will be full price again starting November 11.

Big Lots: 10 percent off your entire purchase.

Cabela’s: Standard employee discount to all veterans, active duty military, Guard/Reserves, law enforcement, fire and EMS personnel on November 10-11. Discount varies from 5 percent to 20 percent, depending on the item.

Dollar General: 10 percent discount on entire purchase on Veterans Day. Offer good for all active-duty military, retirees, veterans, Guard/Reserve, and immediate family members. The coupon can be found in the store circular, or by asking an employee. Also good online from November 11-13, use Coupon Code VETERANSDAY.

Car Wash: Thousands of car washes around the country are offering veterans a free car wash on Veterans Day. Find a list at Grace for Veterans, which helped veterans receive 101,537 free car washes on Veterans Day in 2010.

Jos. A. Bank: Veterans Day Sale. All suits on sale, second for $47, with the Mix ‘n Match. Forty percent off all dress shirts, sportshirts, ties and sportswear. Free shipping on orders of $195 or more.

K-Mart: Friday and Saturday sales. Early Veterans Day sale, November 10, with an extra 5-10 percent off almost everything, with coupon code VETERANSDAY. Friday and Saturday specials, extra 5-15 percent off and free shipping on orders of $49 or more, with coupon code HOLIDAY.

Sports Authority: 15 percent off all purchases.

Sport Clips: Veterans Day National Cut-a-Thon and Help A Hero program. Sport Clips is the official haircutter of the VFW and will donate $1 from every haircut during the National Cut-a-Thon to VFW’s Operation Uplink, which provides free phone time to active-duty military personnel and hospitalized veterans. Sports Clips stores also offer a Heroes discount that includes active and retired military.

Steve Madden: Doubled military discount. Steve Madden is doubling its everyday military discount of 15 percent to 30 percent off for Veterans Day. In Steve Madden stores only. Not valid online. Full-priced merchandise only.

Don’t forget to check out for more great deals and other resources!

Doug Wyllie writes police training content on a wide range of topics and trends affecting the law enforcement community. Doug was a co-founder of the Policing Matters podcast and a longtime co-host of the program.