Businesses offer deals for Veterans Day

Veterans Day ceremony. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images
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Businesses are saluting veterans and active-duty military personnel Saturday.

They’re offering freebies and special discounts on Veterans Day to show their appreciation for all those who have sacrificed for their country.

Veterans can enjoy free meals, drinks, treats and even a haircut and car wash.

For some deals, you don’t have to wait until Saturday.

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Proof of service such as a military ID is typically required and a few businesses will allow dressing in uniform as a form of identification. Discharge papers, VA cards and veteran organization membership cards also can be used to prove service at most businesses.

The majority of discounts are valid only on Veterans Day, unless otherwise noted and available at participating locations. Some exclusions apply.

Early deals:

Aspen Creek Grill: Free lunch from special menu from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

BJs Restaurant and Brewhouse: Free entrée under $12.95 on Friday and Saturday. Plus, get a free BJ’s beer, which was donated by a community member. Learn more at www.bjsrestaurants.com/hero.

Denny's: From 5 a.m. to noon Friday, active, inactive and retired military personnel get a free Build Your Own Grand Slam at participating locations.

Fazoli's: Free spaghetti with meat or marina sauce Friday through Sunday. The chain also is rolling out a new 10% military discount. 

IHOP: Get a free stack of Red, White and Blue pancakes or a patriotic pancake combo from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday at participating locations. The deal varies by location.

Spaghetti Warehouse: Buy any Original Recipe Spaghetti entrée, lasagne, grilled chicken alfredo, get one free Friday through Sunday with a coupon available at www.meatballs.com/veterans. No military ID required.

Veterans Day deals:

Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill: Free meal from a special menu Saturday at any of the nearly 1,800 locations.

Bar Louie: Free flatbread or burger Saturday. See location for more details.

Buffalo Wild Wings: Free small order of traditional or boneless wings with a side of fries.

California Pizza Kitchen: Free entrée from a special Veterans Day menu at participating locations.

Carrabba’s Italian Grill: Free appetizer.

Chili's: Free meal from a special menu.

Chuck E. Cheese: Free personal one-topping pizza to veterans, active duty personnel and eligible dependents with military ID, proof of service and promo code 5500. The chain also has daily military discounts.

Cicis Pizza: Free adult buffet Saturday.

Circle K: Free Polar Pop with the Veterans Day deal on the convenience store chain’s mobile app and with military ID.

Cracker Barrel: Free slice of Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake.

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit: Veterans get a free sandwich, savory side and a Big Yellow Cup from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday.

Dunkin' Donuts: Free doughnut of choice, while supplies last.

Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers: Free combo meal cards will be given out to veterans and active duty military Saturday. 

Hooters: Free meal from special menu.

Houlihan’s: Free meal from select menu. Offer varies by location.

Hurricane Grill & Wings: Free entrée and non-alcoholic drink from special menu.

IKEA: Free meal up to $9.99. Offer may vary in the Carson, Calif., location, according to the IKEA website.

Krispy Kreme:One free doughnut and a small cup of coffee at participating locations. No ID is required.

Little Caesars: Free Hot-N-Ready lunch combo from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Logan's Roadhouse: Free meal from special menu between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.

LongHorn Steakhouse: Free appetizer or dessert. Plus guests dining with veterans will receive 10% off their meals.

Macaroni Grill: Free Mom's Ricotta Meatballs and Spaghetti.

Main Event: Free meal and $10 FUNcard. Locations open until 5 p.m. Saturday.

Menchie’s: Free 6-ounce frozen yogurt.

Mimi’s Café: Free meal from special menu.

Olive Garden: Free meal from a select menu.

On the Border: Free combo meal.

Outback Steakhouse: Free Bloomin' Onion and non-alcoholic beverage.

Panera Bread: Free breakfast sandwiches until 10 a.m. Saturday at participating locations. After 10 a.m., military members get a coupon for a free pastry to use on a future visit.

Red Lobster: Free appetizer or dessert.

Red Robin: Free Red's Tavern Double Burger with bottomless fries.
A gourmet cheeseburger and french fries on a metal plate from Red Robin.

Ruby Tuesday: Free appetizer up to $10.

Starbucks: Free tall coffee for any veteran, active duty military and military spouse Saturday. Unrelated to the Veterans Day deal, Starbucks has a buy one holiday drink, get one free deal 2 to 5 p.m.Thursday through Monday. 

Texas Roadhouse: Free meal from a special menu and choice of non-alcoholic drink.

TGI Friday's: Free lunch menu item up to $12 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Plus get a coupon for $5 off next meal.

The Gyro Shack: Free Original Gyro.

Wienerschnitzel: Free chili dog meal.

Zoës Kitchen: Free meal. 

Furr's Fresh Buffet: Free buffet and beverage to all veterans Monday. Can be combined with the Military Monday price for up to three family members that come in with a service member.

Golden Corral: Free dinner buffet with beverage from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday for the chain’s annual Military Appreciation Night. Learn more at www.goldencorral.com/military.

Twin Peaks: Vets get a free meal from a special menu Monday. 

Other Veterans Day freebies:


Veterans and active military can get free haircuts at participating locations.

Car wash: Get a free car wash at participating locations nationwide. Find a list of locations at www.graceforvets.org/veterans.

Great Clips: Veterans and active duty get a free haircut on Veterans Day or pick up a free haircut card to use through Dec. 31. Also non-veterans who get a haircut Saturday get a free haircut card to give to a veteran.

Meineke: Free basic oil change Saturday.

Sports Clips: Through its Help A Hero campaign, participating stores offer free haircuts to service members and veterans with valid military identification. Stores also are collecting money for scholarships.

The Jewelry Center: Free watch battery replacement for all military Saturday at the three Wisconsin locations.

UFC Gym: For the month of November, get a free one-month membership. The fitness franchise also will be offering zero enrollment fees in addition to discounted monthly dues after November. This offer extends to the military member’s family if they live in the same household.

Store military discounts:


Through Saturday, Target is offering a 10% discount on in-store and online purchases for veterans, active military, spouses and dependent children.


Many stores offer military discounts year-round, but a handful are only on Veterans Day.

Babies R Us: 15% off in-store purchases through Saturday with coupon and ID.

Bealls: 10% off Friday and Saturday.

Bed Bath & Beyond: 25% off entire purchase through Sunday, in-store only.

Buy Buy Baby: 25% off entire purchase through Sunday, in-store only.

Cabela's: In addition to the 5% everyday military discount, the chain is offering additional discounts through Sunday. Learn more at www.cabelas.com

Dollar General: 11% discount in-store and online with promo code VET17 on Saturday.

Fresh Market: 10% off Saturday for veterans and spouses. Not valid on alcohol or gift cards.


Home Depot: 10% discount Saturday. To get the discount online, sign up here.

Jo-Ann Fabric: 10% discount for military service members and their families year-round.

Lowe's: 10% discount.

Michaels: 15% discount for military families every day.

Rack Room Shoes: 10% military discount on Veterans Day as well as every Tuesday.

Target: Through Saturday, 10% discount on in-store and online purchases for veterans, active military, spouses and dependent children. Register for this discount at www.target.com.

Toys R Us: 15% off in-store purchases through Saturday with coupon and ID.

Walgreens: 20% off eligible regular-price items Saturday for all veterans, military and their families with Balance Rewards card and proof of military service.

World Market: 25% off entire purchase through Sunday, in-store only.

Travel discounts


The Carnival Inspiration cruises from Long Beach to Ensenada and Catalina year-round. (Photo: Tom Nicolai)


Carnival Cruise Line: Through Tuesday, Carnival has a special booking promotion for active and retired military personnel that provides a $50 on-board credit per cabin plus a two-category upgrade and reduced deposits from $99 per person, which can be combined with Early Saver rates.

Knott's Berry Farm: Free admission for active, retired and veteran U.S. military personnel and one guest through Nov. 16 and from Nov. 27 through Dec. 15. Learn more at www.knotts.com/tickets-passes/promotions.

National parks: No entrance fees Saturday and Sunday to more than 100 national parks. This deal isn't only for veterans and military — it's for everyone.

Museums: Across the country, many museums including the Montclair Art Museum in New Jersey, are offering free admission for veterans Saturday. Some also are offering discounts for family members. Many zoos and aquariums nationwide will have free admission, too.

Recreation areas: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is waiving day use fees for veterans, active and reserve component service members, and their families at the more than 2,800 recreation areas nationwide on Veterans Day.


Red Roof: 40% off discount for active duty or retired military members when they book on www.redroof.com through Nov. 22 with its Home for the Holidays discount good for stays through the end of February.

Sea World and Busch Gardens: Sign up online for the Waves of Honor program to get free or discounted admission to select Sea World and Busch Gardens parks. Learn more and sign up at www.wavesofhonor.com.

Super 8: 20% discount for active military members, veterans and their families for trips booked now through Dec. 4 and taken by July 31. Also veterans get preferred parking. Learn more at www.super8.com/military.

Westgate Resorts: The company is honoring U.S. military personnel and their families by giving away 1,500 free vacations. Beginning Friday at 9 a.m. EST, the first 1,500 eligible service members to complete the online military appreciation form at www.westgatesalutes.com and place a fully refundable $100 deposit can sign up for either one of 1,400 complimentary four-day, three-night vacations for up to four people at Westgate Town Center Resort & Spa, May 3-6, or one of 100 three-day, two-night vacations for up to two people at Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, Dec. 8-10, 2017.

World of Coca-Cola: Active-duty, reserves and retirees get free admission year-round but through Sunday, members of the Armed Forces also may purchase up to four half-price general admission tickets for their friends and family.