Every Veterans Day, many organizations recognize the service our country’s military members have given our nation. The tradition dates back over 100 years, to the original Armistice Treaty signed at the end of World War I. Armistice Day, as it was originally known, became known as Veterans Day in 1954.
Today, it is celebrated with ceremonies, parades, speeches and community events. Many stores and restaurants also honor current and former military members with special offers, often including free meals, discounts, free admission to events, and more.
Most Popular Veterans Day Offers – 2020
To say 2020 has been an unusual year would be an understatement. However, many Veterans Day events and celebrations are continuing as scheduled, even if they may be different than in years prior. Many restaurants and organizations are continuing their traditions of honoring our nation’s servicemembers with free meals and discounts.
However, due to the pandemic, it’s a good idea to confirm details with event organizers. Some local regulations or ordinances have placed capacity restrictions for some events.
Top 10 Free Meals
The following restaurants are offering free meals to current and former military members in honor of Veterans Day. In most years, these offers are generally only available when dining in. However, due to the pandemic and local restrictions, some restaurants are making these offers available for take-out, or are offering a free meal on different dates in order to reduce crowding.
All offers are available on Nov 11th, unless otherwise noted. Valid at participating locations only.
- Applebee’s. Free meal from a select menu.
- Bob Evans. Free select breakfast, lunch, and dinner items.
- Buffalo Wild Wings. Free order of 10 boneless wings and a side of fries. Dine-in or take out.
- Chili’s. Free meal from a select menu.
- Golden Corral. Promotional cards for one FREE “Thank You” Meal will be distributed during the month of November, and can be redeemed Nov 1, 2020 – May 31, 2021.
- Little Caesar’s. Free pizza or $5 HOT-N-READY Lunch Combo from 11 am – 2 pm.
- O’Charley’s. Free meal from the ” Veterans Thank You Menu”
- Red Robin. Free Red’s Tavern Double and Bottomless Steak Fries for Red Robin Military Royalty members who register by Nov. 5th. Coupon can be redeemed between Nov 12th – Nov 30th.
- Shoney’s. Free All You Care To Eat, Breakfast Bar from 6 am – 11 am.
- Texas Roadhouse TXRH . Texas Roadhouse will hand out dinner vouchers at store parking lots on Wednesday, November 11, from 11 am – 2 pm. Veterans and active military can redeem their dinner vouchers when they choose in-store until June of next year.
These are only the most popular nationwide offers. Each year, The Military Wallet tracks over 100 restaurants that offer free meals on Veterans Day. Be sure to check, as the site is updated daily.
Freebies on Veterans Day
Many locations are also supporting the military community in other ways. Some of the more popular offers include free haircuts, car washes, coffee, and donuts. Here are some of the national offers you can find:
- Car washes – Grace for Vets lists over 4,400 car wash locations around that nation that are offering free car washes to veterans.
- Coffee. 7-11 is offering a free coffee. Starbucks SBUX is offering free tall (12oz) hot brewed coffee. Many other local and regional stores also offer free coffee. Be sure to call ahead.
- Donuts. Many local donut shops and even some national chains offer a free donut on Veterans Day. Again, check with your favorite donut shop in advance.
- Haircuts – Great Clips and Sport Clips are both offering free haircuts for veterans. Great Clips is also giving out haircut vouchers to non-veterans getting a haircut on Veterans Day. Those vouchers can be given to a veteran for a free haircut.
Retail Discounts on Veterans Day
Here are some of the more popular retail discounts available on or around Veterans Day.
- Academy Sports + Outdoors. 10% Discount for military members, veterans, and first responders. Available from Oct 25 – Nov 11.
- Home Depot. HD 10% discount on most items. Home Depot generally offers current military members and retirees a military discount every day, however, they limit discounts to non-retired veterans to military holidays such as Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Veterans Day.
- Office Depot / Office Max. 25% off coupon. Some restrictions apply, qualifying in-store purchases only. Offer available Nov 11 – 13.
- Rack Room Shoes. 20% discount, in-store only.
- Samsung. Additional savings on top of their normal 10% military discount. Offers available from Nov 6 – 11. Must register for the Samsung military discount program.
You can find more Veterans Day discounts here.
Free Tickets & Admission
Many locations are offering free and discounted admission for military members, veterans, and their families.
How to Qualify for these Veterans Day Offers:
While some companies will take your word for it, many companies and organizations require proof of military service in order to be eligible for these free meals, discounts, and other offers.
The following are the most popular methods for showing proof of service:
- Military ID card or military retiree ID card
- Veterans ID Card or VA Health Care ID Card
- Veterans Designator on Drivers License
- Form DD 214 or discharge paperwork
Finally, be sure to call ahead to verify participation, times, and locations. Participation may vary at some locations, especially for companies that have franchise locations. And of course, things are very different this year due to the pandemic. So have fun and stay safe!