Veterans Day and Military Family Month Deals, Discounts and Events

Nothing can take the place of a genuine thank you. I learned to always stop a service person in uniform and acknowledge them out of respect, and I always do that. I say that this list is a nice nod of gratitude to Veterans and their families. There are burgers, shoes and even Lowes on the list. Plus, a list of events happening tomorrow. Parents with kids home from school might consider visiting the Purple Heart Hall of Honor in New Windsor. A beautiful, interactive museum that recognizes and calls on Veterans to help build a database of recipients complete with intriguing re-telling of American history and all of its wars. 

Thank you to all of our men and women of service past and present.  

Military.com has compiled a list of free or reduced goods and services offered to service members, veterans and their families by businesses and organizations in honor of Veterans Day and the month of November, which is Military Family Month.

Check the participation of your chosen location before trying to redeem an offer and keep in mind that different locations may require different proofs of service. Military.com's list of free or reduced goods and services will be updated as it gets closer to Veterans Day.

To receive discounts, most businesses require proof of military service, which can include a VA Universal Access Card, military ID, DD-214 (discharge papers) or veterans service organization card (VSOs include groups like the The American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans and AmVets). In some circumstances, businesses will accept a picture of the veteran in uniform.

Restaurant's offering discounts on Veterans Day and throughout November include:

54th Street Grill – Veterans and active-duty military get a free meal (up to $12).

Applebee’s – Veterans and active-duty military receive a free meal from a limited menu.

Bob Evans – Veterans and active military personnel receive free all-you-can-eat hotcakes.

California Pizza Kitchen – Veterans and active-duty military receive a complimentary entrée from a special menu.Cattlemens – Active, inactive and retired military personnel get a free small sirloin steak dinner.

Carrabba’s – All active and retired veterans get a free appetizer Nov. 8-11.CentraArchy Restaurants – Veterans and active-duty military get a free entrée and 25 percent off for their accompanied family and friends at participating restaurants.

Cheeseburger in Paradise – Active and retired military personnel receive a complimentary All-American Burger with fries.

Claim Jumper – Veterans get a complimentary meal from a special menu on Nov. 10.

Denny’s – Active, inactive and retired military personnel get a free Build Your Own Grand Slam from 5 a.m. to noon at participating locations.

Friendly’s – Veterans and active-duty military get a free breakfast, lunch or dinner from a limited menu.

Golden Corral – Golden Corral Restaurants' Military Appreciation Monday free dinner will be available Nov. 17 from 5-9 p.m. Military retirees, veterans, active duty, National Guard and reserves are all welcome.

Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream – Veterans and active-duty military get a free single-scoop ice cream cone at participating locations.

Hooters – Veterans and active-duty military get a free meal up to $10.99 in value with a drink purchase at participating locations .

JJ’s Red Hots – Veterans and active-duty military get an unlimited free meal.

Krispy Kreme – Veterans get a free doughnut and small coffee at participating locations.

LongHorn Steakhouse – Veterans and active-duty servicemembers receive a complimentary Texas Tonion appetizer and non-alcoholic beverage from a select menu.

Max & Erma's – Participating Max & Erma’s locations are offering veterans and active military personnel a free Best Cheeseburger in America Combo meal.

McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants – Participating locations are offering a complimentary entree to veterans from a special menu.

Menchi's – Veterans and active-duty military get a free 6-ounce frozen yogurt.

MOD Pizza – Veterans and active-duty military get a free individual, artisan-style pizza or hand-tossed salad.

Olive Garden – Veterans and active-duty servicemembers get a free meal from a limited menu.

On the Border – Veterans and active-duty military get a free meal from the “Create Your Own Combo" menu.

Orange Leaf -- Retired and active-duty military get a free cup of froyo.

Outback Steakhouse – Active and former servicemembers receive a free Bloomin’ Onion and beverage. Also, active and former servicemembers get 15 percent off their meals Nov. 12 through Dec. 31.

Pie Five Pizza – Active-duty, reserve and retired servicemembers get a free customized pizza.

Pinnacle Entertainment – Veterans and active-duty military get a free meal at select casinos.

Red Hot & Blue – Veterans receive a free entrée with the purchase of a second entrée from Nov. 10-12. Coupon required.

Red Lobster – Veterans, retired and active-duty military personnel receive a complimentary appetizer from a limited menu from Nov. 10-13.

Shoney's – Veterans and active-duty servicemembers get a free All-American Burger.

Sizzler – Active-duty and veteran military members get a free lunch from a limited menu until 4 p.m.

Spaghetti Warehouse – Buy one entrée and get the second entrée free. This deal requires a coupon, which is available starting Nov. 4.

Texas Roadhouse – Veterans, active duty and retired military get a free lunch from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Tim Hortons Café & Bake Shop – Active-duty military and veterans receive a free donut all day.

Travel Centers of America – CDL drivers who are military veterans eat free at participating full-service restaurants.

Tubby's – Veterans and active-duty military members get a free small Grilled Steak N' Cheese or Tubby's Famous Sub.

Zoes Kitchen – Active-duty military and veterans get a free entrée, and family members get 10 percent off.

Veterans Day travel and recreation discounts:

Army Corp of Engineers Recreation Areas – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will waive day use fees for veterans, active and reserve component servicemembers and their families at the USACE-operated recreation areas nationwide on Nov. 11.

Busch Gardens – Veterans and active-duty military can get 50 percent off single-day admission tickets now through Nov. 11.

Colonial Williamsburg – Active-duty military, reservists, retirees, veterans, and their direct dependents receive free Colonial Williamsburg admission for Veterans Day weekend (Nov. 7–11).

Harley-Davidson Museum – The Harley-Davidson Museum is offering free admission to military members and families from Nov. 8-11.

Jefferson Lines – Jefferson Lines offers free travel to veterans on Nov. 11.

Kingsmill Resort – Veterans and active-duty military enjoy a 25 percent discount off regular room rates on stays Nov. 7-13.

Knotts Berry Farm – Knott's Berry Farm is offering free admission for veterans and active-duty military personnel and one guest from Nov. 2 to Jan. 4, 2015.

Mariners’ Museum – Active-duty and retired military, veterans and their families receive $5 off admission price Nov. 8-11.

Mohegan Sun – Mohegan Sun offers active and retired military members a special hotel $99 room rate available from Nov. 10-13.

Mount Vernon – Active-duty, former or retired military personnel are admitted for free on Nov. 11.

National Parks – Veterans will have access to over 100 national parks that require entrance fees for free on Nov. 11.

Professional Association of Innkeeping International – Inns and B&Bs throughout the country will open their doors to thank veterans for their service from Nov. 10-11 with free or discounted stays.

Queen Mary – The Queen Mary offers free admission to active servicemembers, retired military personnel and veterans, and special discounts for their family members on Nov. 11

Sesame Place – Veterans and active-duty military can get 50 percent off single-day admission tickets now through Nov. 11.

World of Coca-Cola – Active duty, reserves and retirees get free admission; and from Nov. 8-16 members of the Armed Forces may also purchase up to four half-price general admission tickets for their friends and family.

Veterans Day retail offerings:

Grace for Vets – Car washes from around the world who join this program offer free car washes to veterans and servicemembers.

Great Clips – Customers who come in for a service can get a free haircut card to give to their favorite veteran. Veterans can also receive a free haircut or get the free haircut card. Haircuts are redeemable until Dec. 31.

Home Depot – Home Depot offers a 10 percent discount to veterans on Nov. 11. Home Depot offers the 10 percent discount year-round for active duty and retirees.

Lowe's – Veterans receive a 10 percent discount. The offer is available in stores only.

Rack Room Shoes – Military personnel and their dependents get a 10 percent discount off their entire purchase.

Sleep Number – Sleep Number is providing special offers for current and past military personnel now through Nov. 16. Save $400-$700 on selected Sleep Number mattress sets.

Sport Clips – Participating locations are offering veterans and active-duty servicemembers free haircuts.

Steve Madden – Steve Madden is offering 20 percent off an entire purchase with a valid military ID.

Veterans Day events:

America's Parade – Veterans are invited to march in this New York City parade. The theme for this year’s parade is Land of the Free/Home of the Brave, in honor of the 200th anniversary of the writing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Cabela’s – Cabela's hosts a Hometown Heroes event with an increased discount for military personnel as well as law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical service personnel.

Letters from War: A Tribute to Veterans – On Nov. 7 at 7 p.m., the Washington National Cathedral presents a 75-minute concert tribute featuring the U.S. Marine Corps Orchestra, Washington National Cathedral Choir and selections from American War Letters. This tribute event is free and open to the public with no ticketing required.

National Veterans Day Ceremony – The Veterans Day National Ceremony is held at Arlington National Cemetery. It begins at 11 a.m. with a wreath-laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns, and continues inside the Memorial Amphitheater with a parade of colors.

National and state cemeteries holding Veterans Day ceremonies:

National Veterans Day Run – The National Veterans Day Run offers veterans and active-duty military a reduced-rate entry into the race, as well as discounted rates to their spouses and children between 13 and 18.

NFL Salute to Service – To honor Veterans Day, the NFL will donate $100 to each of its nonprofit partners (the Pat Tillman Foundation, USO and Wounded Warrior Project) for every point scored during the 32 Salute to Service games.

Organization's giving back: The following organizations are making a special effort to recognize Veterans Day by donating a portion of their sales to veterans causes or featuring special programs that give back to veterans during the month of November.

AARP – Now through Nov. 13, get 20 percent off AARP membership dues, and when a new membership is purchased AARP will use a portion of the dues to help provide RealPad™ computer tablets to veterans to help them stay connected.

Cracker Barrel – Now through Nov. 11, 10 percent of Cracker Barrel retail sales on specific items will be donated to the USO; and on Veterans Day, 10 percent of the sales price on all Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake enjoyed in the restaurant will be donated. Cracker Barrel will also offer a free slice of Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake to all dine-in veterans on Veterans Day.

Heinz – Thank a veteran and Heinz will donate $1 for every Thank You e-card and $.57 for social media share to Wounded Warrior Project — up to $250,000. Plus, your Thank You e-card will be added to their Gallery of Gratitude.

McDonald’s – For the entire month of November, all 97 locally owned and operated McDonald’s of Hampton Roads restaurants will donate a portion of all sales of Big Mac and Quarter Pounder with Cheese Extra Value Meals to the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program.

National Veterans Day Run – The National Veterans Day Run takes place on Nov. 11 with races throughout the country, and their National Charity Partner for 2014 is Operation Gratitude. Operation Gratitude will be on site at each of the races to give care packages to all veterans and active-duty military in attendance. (They also offer a military discount on entry fees.)

Outback Steakhouse – To celebrate Outback's partnership with Folds of Honor, which helps fund educational scholarships and assistance to family members of military heroes, Outback restaurants in select markets will be hosting Give Back Events on Nov. 4 by donating 15 percent of each check (up to $5,000 per restaurant) to Folds of Honor.

Visit Military.com's Discounts Center for more discounts and articles.

Next weekend: Hudson Valley Lunch of Honor to Benefit Honor Flight

Email Becky at becky@hvhonorflight.com!