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Freebies For Veterans

All Posts  November 09 2008
 — By CJ Grisham

golden corral dinner veteransThe 2008 Military Appreciation Monday dinner will be held on Monday, November 17, 2008 from 5 pm to 9 pm in all Golden Corral Restaurants.

The free “thank you” dinner is available to any person who has ever served in the United States Military. If you are a veteran, retired, currently serving, in the National Guard or Reserves, you are invited to participate in Golden Corral’s Military Appreciation Monday dinner.

To date, Golden Corral restaurants have provided over 1.8 million free meals and contributed over $2.53 million to the Disabled American Veterans organization.

Select Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar restaurants (164 participating restaurants nationwide) are testing a promotion that invites all active duty and veterans to pull up a chair for a delicious meal and heartfelt thanks this Veterans Day. With gratitude for their service and sacrifice, active duty and veterans will eat free at participating locations on Veterans Day (November 11, 2008) during regular business hours.

Veterans and active duty with proof of United States military service will be able to go to one of the participating Applebee’s and select one complimentary entrée from a selection of delicious favorites: a savory House Sirloin, hearty Riblet Basket, zesty Fiesta Lime Chicken®, a juicy Quesadilla Burger or fresh Oriental Chicken Salad. All the traditional sides are included.

“It’s an honor to host an event that helps the neighborhood come together and say thanks to our veterans and active servicemen and women. We are starting on a small scale to ensure we can best understand how to staff and service these important guests.” said Mike Archer, President, Applebee’s Services, Inc..

Proof of military service includes:
• U.S. Uniform Services Identification Card
• U.S. Uniform Services Retired Identification Card
• DD214
• Citation or Commendation
• Photograph in uniform
• Veterans Organization Card

Click HERE for a list of participating restaurants.

McCormick’s and Schmidt’s Seafood Restaurants are paying tribute to veterans with a complimentary entree from a special menu! The free meal is available on Sunday only. Click HERE for a list of locations.

And if you’re not hungry, but bored:

Knotts Berry Farm Free Admission. November 1 – 27 November (Thanksgiving Day) Knott’s annual tribute to our Military, past and present. Veterans or current serving military personnel plus one guest get in FREE with proper ID presented at Knott’s turnstile (DD214, Veterans Administration Hospital ID or Active Military Service ID). Purchase up to six additional tickets for just $15 each. http://www.knotts.com/special_events/pdf/08Vet.pdf

Lowes: Lowe’s Companies, Inc. will offer all active, reserve, honorably discharged, retired military personnel and their immediate family members a 10 percent discount on in-store U.S. purchases made during the Veterans Day holiday. The discount is available Nov. 6 – Nov. 11. The discount is available on in-stock and special order purchases up to $5,000. To qualify, individuals must present a valid military ID or other proof of service. Excluded from the discount are sales via Lowes.com, previous sales, and purchases of services or gift cards.

Home Depot: The Home Depot(R) is offering all active duty personnel, reservists, retired military, veterans and their families a 10 percent discount off their purchases in honor of Veteran’s Day. The offer is valid on purchases of up to $2,000 for a maximum of $200 between November 6 and November 12, 2008, at The Home Depot stores, The Home Depot Design Center locations, Yardbirds and EXPO Design Center(R) locations.

National Parks Free Veterans Day Weekend: “The decision to provide free admission to our national parks during Veterans Day weekend is an open invitation for all Americans to reconnect with our history and culture,” said Thomas Kiernan, president of the National Parks Conservation Association. “As wild lands and as historic sites, our parks offer sanctuary and inspiration during our time of national crisis. National Park Service Director Fran Mainella and Interior Secretary Gale Norton have laid the groundwork for what could be a new and welcome tradition in honoring and remembering the men and women who fought in the past to keep our democracy strong.”

If you know of others, please list them here!

(42) Readers Comments

  1. What? No one complaining about the free ride that the military will get for one day? No comments like, “You harped about the bailout package for those that were too stupid to sign for a house they couldn’t afford and expects the government to pay them now while the real hardworking Americans that knew what they were doing and are trying to do the right thing aren’t getting a DIME of that.”

    I’m glad that you all can thank a vet. Why not start with the real vet you all sit on your butts all day making things up out of the clear blue to say to him?
    Thanks Cj. I’m glad you are the one i get to sleep with at night and hope that these trolls have someone just as wonderful as you to sleep with at night and raise a family with.


  2. My wife and I went to McCormick and Schmick’s tonight. It was a wonderful meal! It normally would have cost us about $70 with tax, tip, drinks, and deserts, but we got out of there for $30 (I always tip for the full price of the meal, even if there are discounts). Thanks for sharing this info. :)

  3. Pingback: Veteran’s Day Free Meals and Discounts | Military Finance Network

  4. Why would I complain about the “free ride” (as you say) the military will get for one day? As far as our soldiers – past, current and present – frankly, I think the US sorely lacks in the benefits and praise we provide, and I have stated such before.

  5. So, then, why not just say, “Thank-you”?

    • Because “thanks” is not enough. For many of us, our service has affected our lives from the time we signed up for selective service until now, in more ways than you can count. You would not know any thing about the SS, being a woman and all. Your freedom is free to you, solely because you are a woman. We as men pay the costs for you. So, thanks is not enough for a lifetime of costs, nor for the price my forefathers paid, beginning with the Revolutionary War and continuing until the present. FYI, my great, great,… grand father was Mrs. Mary Washington’s protectorate and Officer of the Day when this country won its freedom. Where was your heritage then?

      • you are right Hank, thanks isnt enough, but to counter on your statement regarding women, I differ with you there. I am a female who served in Desert Storm and know many women who served in serveral wars. So saying that women are free and freedom is free to us, don’t forget the women who have been fighting in the wars from the beginning. Any one who has served in the Armed Forces knows the government doesn’t do enough for us, but we take what we can get. I am proud to have served my country, woman or not!

  6. This is so cool! Yes and “Thank You” to CJ and all of our active service members as well as our veterans who have given so much to this country! You guys and gals rock!! :)

    I’m glad that businesses are recognizing our veterans if it’s just for the week-end or for Veteran’s Day!!

  7. Thank you, veterans. You are all fantastic and we Americans owe you so much more than we currently provide. I wish you all a great Veterans Day!

  8. I wish my country had such a thing. Although I know some cybercafes and hairdressers give a discount for servicemen.

  9. Thank you CJ and all of our wonderful VETS. God Bless them all.
    Emily, Thank you for your wonderful husband and family and your greatest support of all of us. Some of these trolls will never be anything but ignorant and they know who they are. God Bless

  10. I am married to a soldier and Veteran and I think that one day a year to say thank you is not enough!!!!!!! but Thank you those who appreciate what my husband does and for him risking his life for ours. Thank you very much and days like these coldn’t make me even prouder of him.

  11. I think that all 30 year retirees should live completely tax exempt for the rest of their lives.

    I am not in this group BTW – I served only one hitch.

  12. Thanks for bringing this to everyone’s attention and its a fantastic show committment by businesses of their support for this great country and the troops that fight for it.
    In a notable gesture by BP -
    Why I choose to fill up with their gas when I get a chance.
    Happy Vet’s Day to All!!
    US Army (Hon Disch)
    20th Engineers

  13. David,

    the irony is that we don’t have ANY of these eating establishments here in Huntsville!! grrrrr.

    • Thanks for your service anyway David! Want to move to Military City USA, i.e. San Antonio? SA loves it’s vets!

  14. more of those obscene amenities? since 3 of 4 in our household are veterans, we’ll be there on the 17th… and only the wife & mother (me) will have to pay! what a deal!!!

  15. Just wanted to remind people that Golden Corral is doing their military appreciation on the 17th and Applebees is doing their mil appreciation on Veterans Day. There was some confusion in my office about the dates. Dont know if everyone was reading the story correctly.

    BTW, I am a Vet and so is my hubby and neither of us need a “Thank You” – ever. We know what we did and you can’t make people appreciate you if they don’t want to. We need to stick together as Veterans and Active Duty to make sure there is a strong bond and a support channel for all soldiers.

    Also, there is the AIL (Army Information Line) 1-800-833-6622. It supports Veterans, Active Duty, Reservist and the spouses/parents of Soldiers. You can call for information on most any situation 0800-1700 EST.

  16. Went to McCormick and Schmick yesterday for brunch. Perfect service, wonderful meal. Thanks for your consideration of the American veteran!

    For those of you in the Midwest, Hy Vee stores are providing a free Veterans Day breakfast from 7:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Enjoy!

  17. Thanks for sharing that…I was able to pass this info on to my Sons…I know that they have “Home Depot” needs!

  18. Thank you to all Veterans and to those currently serving! I’m very proud of all of you.

    Emily, I’m sure you know I wouldn’t complain if they got deals like these every day! In fact, if your hubby were in town I’d take him to his favorite. He can pack it away at those buffets :)

    Another thank you to Emily and the kids, for sharing CJ with all of us!

    That goes out too for all family members of those who serve. Without all of you at home, they couldn’t do their jobs nearly so well.

  19. This is an awesome idea. Thank you to all the veterans who ahve served this nation. Also, to Marcus and all Marines, Happy Birthday United States Marine Corps(November 10th, 1775).

  20. Thanks for all the info CJ. I have Applebee’s up already but will link to your post for all the other deals.

    And thank YOU, Emily, and all the military families. We KNOW that the families also serve..

  21. Emily, sorry you are unhappy about the “free ride” for the military. American vets have protected your freedom to be pissed off at them so you should at least thank them for that. When I returned home in uniform in ’70 I was greeted at the airport with profanity and hate. At least that era has past and most people now appreciate what vets have done for this country.

  22. Wow! These are cool freebies for our soldiers. But it should not end there; commemorating, paying high respect and including them in our prayers are ways to show appreciation to our troops.

  23. Emily………..nothing is free. You need to pack a lunch and go with us to the VA Hospital for the day. Yes …that free heathcare is never provided by the same physician and you will wait hours to receive it. Take a look around while you are there at the men and women of all ages who have served our country so you could have the freedom to voice your shameful opinions. They are not complaining about what they have given up for you and this country. The children and spouses of those who serve forgive you for your ignorance. Thank all who have served and who currently serve in our Military Services. God Bless America!

  24. My husband and I served and I was to say thanks for the thank yous.

  25. How sad that none of the Applebee’s in the south are participating (with the exception of some in TN). The majority of military bases are located in the south, and a lot of the retirees stay close to their last duty station. As a Soldier married to a retired Soldier, I am disappointed that Applebee’s doesn’t have more restaurants participating. And there in no Golden Corral in the large town where I live. I sure hope these promotions are successful and carried to a larger scale next year. It is nice having the focus be positive on the military, even if it is just once a year. Hooah!

    • Just had lunch at Applebee’s in Grand Prairie Texas. All Texas Applebee’s are doing this, and I believe Texas is considered in the South. From a Navy veteran.

  26. Ummm, is it my imagination or have some MISREAD Emily’s comments?

    To Viet Vet, TK, and others who are reading, Emily is CJ’s amazing WIFE, and she was being sarcastic due to an idiot troll. She deserves nothing less than our thanks and our gratitude!!

  27. Being a Vietnam Veteran, my wife and I had a wonderful lunch at Don Pablo’s, who were unaware as to free food for veterans. I talked with the manager (Mike)and asked if they were a patisipating resterant, he said if you come in and ask for me, I will take care of you. Upon our arrivial my wife and I were greeted very kindly andgiven a booth, then offered anything we wanted.I discovered he has members of his family serving in Iraqi some already serving 2&3 years while othersserved in Vietnam, WWII. He was very understanding and happily served all the Vets who came in. It felt good to be appreciated by Mike, who made us feel special. Thanks Mike,for recognizing mine and my fellow veterans service to our country. You have earned much respect from the Veitnam Vet Centers I attend. I gave them all your appreciation and also mentioned your family’s continuing service to our country. Everyone wants me to give Thanks to you and your family for sharing our special day. They’re all, Don Pablo’s partisipants and love your cuisine. But, somehow it was even better today. No dought
    your thoughtfulness and carring contributed with that. From all of us Vietnam Veterans, you are now part of our orginization, you and your family remain in our thoughts also.

    Great Thanks,
    Vietnam Veterans Vet Centers

  28. Some Home Depot offer a discount all year round. The HD in my town (Shrewsbury, PA) gives anyone with a Mil ID a 10% discount on purchases of $50 or greater with a max of a $200 discount.

  29. Yeah, some did misread my comments.

    And so it hopefully won’t happen AGAIN, I am an army spouse, i HAVE been to a VA hosptial, along with serving at walter reed MANY times, and have sat in those some waiting rooms for many hours waiting to be seen, as well as my children. I know things aren’t free, i was making a point to some of the trolls that hang out here who are happy to point the finger and complain everything military and yadda yadda, but heaven forbid they should ever thank someone in uniform. So, i guess i’ll forgive TK and vietnam vet THEIR ignorance on the matter.

  30. Yeah, I don’t know if TK and Viet Vet will be back, but Emily is THE consummate military wife. She supports me through this crazy military life and keeps me moving. Just so you know, she DID spend a few hours in a VA Hospital today waiting for medications for my daughter who has walking pneumonia and two ear infections. Now, she could have waited longer, but she took her “free ride” by calling me since I was in uniform and get head of the line privileges.

    SK, thanks for speaking up for her since I didn’t see this earlier! Good thing someone else took up this matter cause if I had seen it when it was posted, I’d be rabidly angry.

  31. Veterans Day when I was A kid was just A salute to the flag at school and a disortation by the teacher on WW1&2-Korea,Vietnam got honorable mention in 1966.We ran A store with ABC on /off premises so war stories over A bottle of beer were all day long by 1969 tricky Dick was getting the blame for putting our servicemen &women in harms way and Veterans Day started changeing from the world war victory gang to the trodden by political action group with disgruntled royally pissed off vets comeing home from A war we could not win.Win A hill one day and give it away the next .Why fight for ground at all,blood everywhere-for what? Where are we at today? Veterans Day has A more solemn and significant meaning to Americans everywhere now.It speaks to where we are from and it should help us as A country to shape where we are going.God bless the United States of America,I pray for better memories in our future.Less reasons to create memorials to those who have shed blood for the perilous freedom we enjoy.Thank you for A glimmer of Thank you by the free dinner for us as vets in general. A extremely nice gesture from the kind of place most veterans like,reminds me of the USS Enterprise chow line-6000 plus at sea with the air wing and fleet Admiralds Staff and guests 4 meals A Day.No listing or yawing here either lol!No tail hooks banging and ya don’t have to go 4 flights of ladder to and from your meal either!Thank you!

  32. I believe most people are proud of the military and it does feel good to know people support the military 100%. i served 20 years in the NAVY and i have one son in the Marines and one son in the Air Force. I am very proud of what they are doing exspecially knowing the sacrifices they will make. I dont think people relize how hard it is on a military family when there are deployments. When you see your wife and kids waving and crying at the pier and you know it will be 6 to 8 months before you see them again, it aint easy.

  33. I am a marine who has sacrificed more than I bargained for while I’ve been in. Four deployments and I no longer have a wife; I have realized that pride often comes with a price. This is a lifestyle thats is often blinded by this country; but then again I can’t expect people to go out of their way to thank me. To be honest, I don’t serve for the money, or for the benefits, or even the country; I serve for the marines on the left and right of me. Everything else just feels transparent to me now. I will still go out and get some free food because Marines never pass up free food; I just wish it was free every day. Thanks to everyone that supports us, sit back one day and ask yourself if your doing enough on your part though.

  34. Everybody! Stop trying get one up on everyone else! Veterans day is a special day for those who have served and that still serves, and desire to serve in the future. It’s not about a free meal or a discount. It’s about the pride, sacrifice, and commitment we have as humans. We are old, young, men, women, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, etc., and WE all share the same thoughts and feelings. There is not one person I have met that felt anything but pride for the served in the military. It didn’t matter if they went in for the GI Bill or to have job security. We all go in for different reasons, but we all get out with the same pride and respect.
    Yesterday I had to go to the ER at VA hospital to get a scheduled injection because all the clinics were closed. There were a couple of young girls with their family passing out homemade thank you cards to all the veterans. The problem was that they were only passing them out to the older men that were in the waiting room. One girl stood right in front of me and looked me up and down and walked away. I assume she thought since I am a women and young there was no way possible I was a vet. Since I am use to this I didn’t say anything to girl and she handed a card the man sitting to my left. To my right there was a women whose husband is a vet and he was in the back being seen at that time. She asked me if I was a vet and I responded yes. She got up and said you deserve a card as well. She flagged down one of the girls, yelling across the waiting room, “You forgot one over here! This women is a VET!!”
    The girl, who just a few moments ago was standing right in front of me came back and gave me a card and said thank you for your service. All I could do was thank the women, who had never in her life seen me before, and went out of her way to make me feel important, respected and honored.
    We don’t need free meals or discounts, although they are nice and much appreciated. All we want is to feel important and respected for the time we sacrificed ourselves (some of us our life), to honor and protect the millions of people all over the world who are strangers to us as I am to you.

  35. Emily needs anger management counseling

  36. ahhh..because you know me so well joe.

  37. I attempted to subscribe for your feed, but had an issue adding it to google reader. Could you please check this out.

  38. I want to personally thank all the firms offering such support to all veterans this one day a year. I only hope that they, and all peoples who have benefitted from the military, can also help address the issue of unemployed veterans, not just one day a year, but all year long.

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