Here is a list of nationally available discounts/freebies for veterans and current active duty military. It was originally put together by Tiff (and the narrative is Tiff’s). It is updated each year by Jeanne.
Veterans Day Discounts (for people who have served)
Veterans Day discounts: I don’t know how many people have figured this out by reading my bio or any of my posts, but I’m a veteran and my husband is still an active reservist in the military. We also love a good deal. Early on in our military careers, we first started seeing special offers for veterans on Veterans Day around 2000/2001. The first one I remember is Golden Corral offered a free all-you-can-eat dinner (they still do this) as their Veterans Day discount. Back then if you tried to go on Veterans Day in a military town the line would be out the door and around the building, so we never took advantage of that deal.
In the 15+ years since then, the number of businesses that offer deals to veterans has grown exponentially. We tend to travel in November, so most years we are not home on Veterans Day. Last year we were. We decided we would try to take advantage of all the Veterans Day discounts that we could.
The reason I’m writing this post is first, I want to give recognition to some of the awesome businesses we went to last year, some who went truly above and beyond for us. The other reason is to tell our fellow veterans (and those still active duty) about some of the freebies you can take advantage of this year. Hopefully, you’ll be able to use one of these Veterans Day discounts.
Quick note about this post, I cannot possibly list all of the offers out there anymore, there are too many. But I will add links at the end to websites that are trying to stay on top of it as businesses come out with the announcements. Unless I state otherwise, every offer I mention in this post is being offered again this year. Also, some of these offers are available at all locations, some only at participating locations, so definitely check to see if the places near you are participating. Also look at what type of identification is required to prove your veteran status, that also varies from business to business.
Starbucks Veterans Day Discount
This year on Veterans Day, they’re giving out complimentary coffee to all eligible. All veterans, active-duty military members, and their spouses can get a free tall (12 fl oz) hot brewed coffee https://www.thespruce.com/starbucks-free-veterans-day-coffee-1357334
My first mistake last year was not realizing there was a Starbucks right next to where I was going. If I had known that, I could have gotten a free 12 oz coffee there. I already had my coffee for the day from home so we pressed on. Starbucks is going to offer this deal again this year, andI have seen that Peet’s Coffee & Tea is offering a free small coffee or tea this year. https://www.stripes.com/news/veterans/free-meals-and-more-on-veterans-day-1.604415
Denny’s Veterans Day Discount
Free Build Your Own Grand Slam® breakfast for all U.S. Veterans on 11/11/19 from 5AM-12PM. Available for active, non-active or retired military personnel with a valid Military ID or DD 214. Dine-in only. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3sTO8buVAQ&feature=youtu.be
Our breakfast stop was Denny’s (4007 N. Interstate 35, Denton, TX). Build-you-own grand slam from 5 am to noon. We considered going to IHOP, but their freebie was free red, white, and blue pancakes and we wanted more than just pancakes for breakfast.
This year, participating IHOP restaurants are offering a free Red, White & Blue Pancake meal to current and former military members on Nov. 11, 2019, from 7 am – 7 pm. In addition to their Veterans Day deal, IHOP offers a 20% discount to all veterans and active duty servicemen and servicewomen at participating locations. To take advantage of their daily discount, you simply need to show a valid military ID. Additionally, some IHOP’s offer a traditional breakfast combo to veterans which consists of eggs cooked to order, hash browns, and bacon strips or sausage links. https://www.thespruce.com/ihop-s-free-veterans-day-pancakes-1357325
There are other places that offer free breakfast, but we don’t live near enough to any of them.
Bakers Square will offer veterans and active duty service members a free meal on Veterans Day (Nov. 11). Also, now through Veterans Day (Nov. 11), Bakers Square locations will raise funds for The Folded Flag Foundation. Each guest who donates $5 on their dine-in check will receive a $5 voucher toward a future in-store purchase
Bob Evans will treat Veterans and Active Duty Military one of the below, beverage not included: Country biscuit breakfast, brioche French toast, Mini Sampler, stack of hotcakes, soup & salad combo, Dinner Bell plate https://www.facebook.com/bobevans
Friendly’s, Veterans and active service members can enjoy a FREE Big-Two-Do or FREE All-American Burger meal on Veteran’s Day! https://www.facebook.com/friendlys/
Village Inn, FREE V.I.B. to all veterans and active military. Choose 4 different V.I.B. items to create your own delicious breakfast. Must show Military ID or proof of Military Service. https://www.facebook.com/villageinnrestaurants
Krispy Kreme, a free doughnut and small coffee (no purchase required) to veterans and active servicemembers on Veterans Day. https://www.veteransadvantage.com/blog/discounts-benefits/food-freebies-veterans-and-active-duty-veterans-day-2019-part-ii
LaMar’s Donuts, Free donut and 12 oz coffee, http://www.lamars.com/
(free donut and coffee at the last two).
Great Clips Veterans Day Discount
Visit a U.S. Great Clips salon on Nov. 11 receive either a free haircut that day or the free haircut card to use at a later date. Or Purchase a service at a U.S. Great Clips salon on Veterans Day (Nov. 11) and get a free haircut card to give to a veteran you know. https://www.greatclips.com/promotions/veterans-day
After breakfast, my husband got a free haircut at Great Clips (1435 South Loop 288 #111, Denton, TX). The kids got haircuts as well (not free) but customers that day are given cards to give to a veteran to get a free haircut good until the end of the year.
A lot of restaurants have free meals, but they’re from a specialized menu. Some offered free appetizers or desserts. Some are available all day, some only during lunch, and some only during dinner. Some include a non-alcoholic beverage; some require the purchase of a beverage.
Texas Roadhouse Veterans Day Discount
Free lunch for Veterans and Active Military – November 11, 11am–4pm https://www.texasroadhouse.com/
For lunch, we decided to go to Texas Roadhouse (2817 S. Interstate 35 East, Denton, TX, Richard Rijos, Managing Partner). We went because we wanted the 6 oz sirloin with two sides and a free sweet tea. J The restaurant was still crowded when we arrived shortly before 2 pm (the time the offer was going to end). We were assured that we could still take advantage of it and were seated in a few minutes. As we walked to our table we noticed there was a Missing Man Table set up near the front of the restaurant.
Then at 2 pm, the manager got on the intercom and announced to the entire restaurant that he was going to extend the free lunch until 4 pm. He encouraged everyone there to message their friends or put it out on social media to spread the word to anyone who hadn’t had a chance to come by yet.
BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse Veterans Day Discount
ALL CURRENT AND FORMER MILITARY CAN ENJOY A FREE ENTREE UP TO $14.95 AND A FREE DR PEPPERTM BEVERAGE
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 11 https://www.bjsrestaurants.com/VeteransDay
Even though we had a late lunch, we still had two more places we wanted to go to that night. The first was BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse (3250 S. Interstate 35 East, Denton, TX). I liked their offer best for dinner because it wasn’t a set menu, it was any meal up to $12.95, no additional purchase required, and if you wanted a meal that cost more than that you simply paid the difference. The restaurant was pretty crowded for a Wednesday night, so we had a little bit of a wait. The food and service were great, and after how much I had already eaten that day, I was glad to have a bit more selection for dinner so I could choose a lighter meal. This is important given the last place I wanted to go to that night.
Hooters Veterans Day Discount
Last stop of the night, my favorite place for freebies… Hooters (985 S. Interstate 35 East, Denton, TX). Yes, I have a problem, I’m seriously addicted to their wings. Even though they have a set menu, one of the options on the set menu is a 10-piece traditional wings (no chicken dance required). Last year it was free with the purchase of a beverage, this year it looks like no purchase required. It is good all day on November 11th. Thinking about it I suppose we could go to different Hooters restaurants all day and keep getting free wings. Mmmm… wings…
Bed, Bath and Beyond Veterans Day Discount
U.S. Armed Forces Appreciation Event 25% off Entire Purchase, Veterans Day Sale up to 40% off https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/
Last, but definitely not least, Bed, Bath and Beyond (2315 Colorado Blvd, Suite 180, Denton, TX) also had a Veterans Day special (I have not seen yet if they’re going to do it again this year). This one we didn’t know about and completely Homered into when we went to a Bed, Bath, and Beyond to buy a wedding gift. *Note: I mean “Homered” in the Homer Simpson sense of the word, not the baseball sense of the word*
I know, I know, Tiff, Bed, Bath, and Beyond always sends out coupons, you can always get 20% off there. Yes, but this wasn’t 20% off of one item, this was 20% off your entire purchase. And it was good from November 7th – November 11th last year. The only kicker was it was good in stores only, which makes sense since they need identification to prove your veteran status.
Applebee’s, all active military members and veterans will receive a free meal from any of our participating locations on Veterans Day, November 11th: Classic bacon cheeseburger, chicken tenders platter, fiesta lime chicken, oriental chicken salad, 6 oz USDA select top sirloin, double crunch shrimp, three-cheese chicken penne https://www.applebees.com/en/veterans-day-free-meals
Buffalo Wild Wings, Free small boneless wings & fries for veterans. https://www.buffalowildwings.com/en/promos/veterans_day/
Chili’s, Choose an entrée for your Veterans Day free meal below. “We’ll take it from there”:
- Chicken Crispers®
- Margarita Grilled Chicken
- Bowl of Chili or Soup & Salad
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Quesadillas
- Just Bacon Burger
- Oldtimer with Cheese
- Cajun Chicken Pasta
Golden Corral, Special thank you dinner at Military Appreciation Night. Free ‘thank you’ dinner is for the person who served. https://www.goldencorral.com/military-appreciation/
Little Caesars, give away one (1) $5 HOT-N-READY Lunch Combo®, which includes four slices of DEEP!DEEP! Dish pepperoni pizza and a 20 ounce Pepsi product, on November 11, 2019 to each veteran or active member of the United States military who comes into a Participating Store between 11:00:00 a.m. and 2:00:00 p.m. https://littlecaesars.com/en-us/Promotion-Rules/Veterans-Day/
Olive Garden, a completely free meal paid in full by the restaurant, which includes an entrée from a special Veterans Day menu, plus unlimited soup or salad and garlic breadsticks. https://www.thespruce.com/olive-garden-s-free-meal-on-veterans-day-1357329
Red Lobster, to thank veterans, active duty military and reservists for their service, Red Lobster® is offering a free appetizer or dessert on Monday, November 11. Guests only need to show a valid military ID or proof of service to redeem this offer.
Choose from the following:
- Sweet Chili Shrimp
- Mozzarella Cheesesticks
- Parrot Isle Jumbo Coconut Shrimp
- Seafood-Stuffed Mushrooms
- Lobster and Langostino Pizza
- Signature Shrimp Cocktail
- Langostino Lobster-Artichoke-and-Seafood Dip
- Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
- Key Lime Pie
- Warm Apple Crostada
- Chocolate Wave
- Brownie Overboard
Red Robin, Veterans and active military, Veterans Day, Monday 11/11/19, a FREE* Tavern Double® Burger with Bottomless Steak Fries®. Just show proof of service. https://www.redrobin.com/value/veterans-day.html
Conclusion: Free stuff for veterans
That was the result of our Veterans Day discounts adventure last year. I ultimately was very happy with the decisions we made with which places to go. There were a couple more I wish I could have gone to, but either that business wasn’t near us, or it wasn’t feasible with everything else we were doing that day.
I haven’t looked at all the offers yet this year, so I haven’t come up with a strategy for 2016 Veterans Day discounts. I think we’re only going to get breakfast and dinner, but now that I said that we’ll probably try to go to even more places than last year. I’m going to list several websites that each have a fairly comprehensive list of the freebies. It’s really hard to keep track of them all, which is a great problem to have, but that’s why I’m including several links about Veterans Day discounts because some places are listed on one and not the other.
Happy Veterans Day and thank you, everyone, for your service past and present!