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Veterans Day freebies and deals

More than 35 restaurant chains and retailers are offering free food and discounts to active and former military members on or about Veterans Day.

By MSN Money Partner Nov 9, 2012 3:17PM

This post comes from Leah Ingram at Living on the Cheap.


Living on the Cheap logoVeterans Day falls on Sunday this year. It's a day to remember and thank all of the military men and women -- past and present -- for their service to our country. Many retailers, restaurants and others are giving away free stuff or offering discounts to active-duty and former military members. 


Image: Military Man (© Stockbyte/SuperStock)In order to qualify for most of the following Veterans Day 2012 freebies and deals, you must produce a valid military ID or arrive in uniform. Not all local establishments participate in all national promotions, so it's smart to call and ask about availability and required ID before you go.

  • Applebee's. Veterans and active-duty military are welcome to enjoy a free Signature entree from a special Veterans Day menu at participating locations.
  • Bed and breakfasts and inns. B&Bs and inns in both the United States and Canada are offering free stays for the military in honor of Veterans Day -- called Remembrance Day in Canada. Rooms are on a first-come, first-served basis so there is a chance it may be too late to book. But if not, how great would it be to get a free one-night getaway on Nov. 11? Here is information on participating U.S. B&Bs and inns. Here is information on participating Canadian establishments.
  • Bennigan's. Participating Bennigan's locations are offering discounts for veterans and current service members with a military ID.
  • Big Lots. Big Lots has a special Veterans Day discount on Saturday, Nov. 10. Former and current military personnel and their immediate family members will receive 10% off their entire purchase.
  • California Pizza Kitchen. Veterans and active-duty military can enjoy a free pizza and a nonalcoholic beverage on the house at California Pizza Kitchen on either Nov. 11 or Nov. 12.
  • Champps Americana. Military members and veterans can enjoy a free cheeseburger and fries at participating Champps Americana restaurants nationwide on Nov. 12.
  • Cheeseburger in Paradise. Cheeseburger in Paradise has a free meal for the military on Nov. 12.
  • Denny's. Pancake-loving veterans should head to a Denny's restaurant on Nov. 12, when Denny's will offer former and current military members free all-you-can-eat pancakes from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Dollar General. Veterans and active military get 11% off purchases at Dollar General in honor of Veterans Day, which falls on the 11th day of the 11th month. This discount is available Nov. 8-11 online and Nov. 11 in stores.
  • Einstein Bros Bagels and Noah's New York Bagels. Military members and veterans who visit any Einstein Bros or Noah's Bagels location nationwide between 5:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Nov. 11 will receive a free Signature or Classic bagel, no purchase necessary.
  • Famous Dave's. Visit the Famous Dave's website to find the Veterans Day deal available Nov. 11 where you live, as the offers vary by state. Some are offering a free meal with sides; others are offering a discount.
  • Friendly's. On Nov. 12, Friendly's restaurants invite active members of the military and veterans to enjoy a complimentary Big Two Do breakfast and coffee during breakfast hours.
  • Golden Corral. The Golden Corral chain is calling Nov. 12 "Military Appreciation Monday" and offering a free dinner from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. to any person who has served in the U.S. military. 
  • Hooters. Get 10 free wings with a drink purchase when you visit a participating Hooter's and present a valid military or veteran's ID on Nov. 11.
  • Krispy Kreme. Many Krispy Kreme locations will be celebrating Veterans Day by offering veterans a free doughnut and small coffee on Nov. 11. The offer varies by location, so call ahead.
  • Little Caesars Pizza. Veterans and military members can munch on a free order of Crazy Bread at Little Caesars on Nov. 11.
  • Lone Star Steakhouse. On Nov. 12, veterans and active-duty military will receive a free entree from Lone Star Steakhouse.
  • Massage Envy. National spa chain Massage Envy is offering free one-hour massages for the military between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Nov. 11 in some of its 800 locations nationwide.
  • Max & Erma's. A Best Cheeseburger in America combo meal is on the freebie menu for veterans and military members on Nov. 11. In addition to the cheeseburger, the meal includes a choice of soup or salad and a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie.
  • McCormick & Schmick's. The folks at McCormick & Schmick's are offering a free meal Nov. 11 from a special Veterans Day menu. Reservations are strongly suggested.
  • National Park Service. On Veterans Day weekend (Nov. 10-12), everyone gets free admission to the national parks that normally charge admission.
  • Olive Garden. Active-duty military members and veterans can choose from five free entrees at Olive Garden on Nov. 11. They'll also enjoy unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks.
  • Outback Steakhouse. Discounts and deals extend well beyond Nov. 11 at Outback Steakhouse for military members and veterans. Get a free Bloomin' Onion and a Coca-Cola beverage Nov. 11-12, and then enjoy a 10%-off discount Nov. 13 through Dec. 31.
  • On the Border. Grab this flier from the On the Border Facebook page and bring it with you Nov. 11 so that 15% of the cost of your meal will be donated to a veterans organization. Active and former military members who present the flier will get a coupon for a free entree (up to $10) that they can use Nov. 12-30.
  • Pizzeria Uno. Pizzeria Uno's Veterans Day deal is actually a BOGO: You can get a free pizza or entree when you buy one at participating locations Nov. 11-12.
  • Red Lobster. Veterans and military members can enjoy a free appetizer at Red Lobster on Nov. 11.
  • Red Robin. Red Robin is giving away a free Tavern Double to veterans and active military on Nov. 12.
  • Red Roof Inn. Save 15% on the cost of your stay the entire month of November as part of Red Roof Inn's Veterans Month promotion.
  • Sizzler. Veterans and active military can get a free lunch on Nov. 12 at Sizzler restaurants. 
  • Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes. Past and present military can receive a free meal Nov. 11-12 with the purchase of another regular-priced meal at either Souplantation or Sweet Tomatoes locations.
  • Spaghetti Warehouse. Spaghetti Warehouse's Veterans Day deal runs Nov. 9-12 and is a BOGO -- buy one, get one free when you purchase a lasagna or spaghetti entree.
  • Sport Clips. Many Sport Clips locations will offer free haircuts to active-duty service members and veterans on Nov. 11.
  • Texas Roadhouse. Lunch is on the house at Texas Roadhouse for veterans and military members on Nov. 12. Choose from one of 10 entrees, plus certain soft drinks and sweet tea -- all for free.
  • T.G.I. Friday's. Between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Nov. 12, lunch is free at participating T.G.I. Friday's for active and former military.
  • Tim Hortons. Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop locations nationwide will give all active military and veterans a free doughnut on Nov. 11, no purchase necessary.

More on Living on the Cheap and MSN Money:


Nov 9, 2012 6:21PM
The offers are very nice; however, a huge number of veterans will not have an ID card or a uniform. If they retired from the military or are medically disabled from the military, they will have an ID card. Veterans who served their obligated service but did not stay in the military long enough to retire do not have an ID card. Most probably did not keep a uniform either.

I am a 7-year Navy veteran who did not keep a uniform. I do happen to have a military ID but that's only because I'm the spouse of a retired military man.

The article should be adjusted to read that the veterans should do one of the following: show a military ID, wear their uniiform, or show their DD-214 (discharge paper). 
Nov 9, 2012 7:54PM
A VFW or American Legion card will do for Veterans who are inactive. 
Thank you vets for serving. 
1st Cav 1970/71

Nov 9, 2012 7:02PM
Most of us do not have an I D Card, I surrendered mine to personnel in order to get paid my final pay, and seperation travel.  But you could make a photo copy of any of your military papers and/or discharge papers.  I believe most of these  fine establishments would accept  and I D Card from the V F W or American Legion as military service is a must be belong to either organization.  I still have my 1970 uniform but I do not know how I could fit into it.
Nov 9, 2012 7:43PM

DD 214,one should get a VA card at your local VA.Home Depot and lowes gives us vet's 10 % off, that can add up.I used it for a riding lawn mower and save 240 bucks.

Nov 9, 2012 7:16PM
Most places do not even check for that, so there are lots out there that take advantage of that.. I know that is so true in this one area not far from me...
Nov 11, 2012 1:00PM
If you are claiming to have no form of proof for your veteran status you are wrong and you are no longer a no-go at this station. Go find your DD-214 and go to your nearest VA facility and apply and register with the VA. You WILL receive and ID card with your picture and veteran status from the VA that can be used at all the locations in the article. I have been a veteran for nearly 6 years from Afghanistan War and have never had an issue using my card as proof for military discounts and Golden Coral, Home Depot, Applebee's and many other locations that provide services and discounts to REAL veterans.
Nov 9, 2012 8:25PM

have Military ID, wear Uniform, Bring in a Picture / Photo of yourself in Uniform, DD-214 or

  Form NGB-22  if served in National Guard.

Also not every place mentioned/ listed participates in Freebies or Discounts  even though have Franchise Name. Many are Independently Owned and may have optioned out. Call ahead to see if they are participating.

 Note: Some are doing on Sunday (Veterans Day) or Monday (In Observance) and have certain hours.


My apology to those who are ill, unable due to hospitalization or in elderly care/ nursing home or care provided by others as cannot do for yourself without assistance.

Also those who are still serving on Active Duty overseas away from home.


I myself as a Retired Veteran (nearly 26 yrs.) appreciate your time of service to our country.

 Thank you!

Nov 11, 2012 3:09AM
I have been refused a veteran's discount several times because I do not have a veteran's id. At Lowe's they even refused to accept my DD-214, my Honorable Discharge Certificate or my American Legion id card. Finally, I just gave up. I will admit it irritates me but then I think of all the vets who really could use a helping hand. I should be grateful..
Nov 9, 2012 6:50PM
And most of your upscale eateries will gladly let vets lick their garbage cans.
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