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On Nov. 11, 1918, the Allied Forces (France, Great Britain, Italy, Romania, Russia, the United States, and others) and Germany signed "The Armistice of 11 November," a cessation of hostilities in what was then known as The Great War. Similar agreements had already been reached between the Allies and the other so-called Central Powers (Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire).

What was then known as "Armistice Day" quickly became a de-facto un-official national holiday until Congress codified it as a Federal holiday in 1938. In 1954, Congress passed a measure that changed the name of the holiday to Veterans Day in an effort to honor all who served in the armed forces, regardless of when or where they served.

It's not at all uncommon for men and women who have worn the uniform of one of our military services to dress in a law enforcement uniform in their next career after leaving the armed forces.

Veterans of America's military tend to make excellent police officers. Individuals with military experience already have a commitment to service, an unusually high level of discipline, an understanding of chain-of-command, and other qualities that tend to make them very good police officers.

Each year across America on Veterans Day, restaurants, retailers, and other businesses show their appreciation to our service members with free or discounted products services—here's a short list of free and discounted goods and services such as hotels, haircuts, car washes and many more deals specifically for veterans, active-duty military personnel, and their dependents.

Please be advised that the offers listed below are subject to change or may not be offered at a particular location—call ahead to confirm a publicized discount and to ask what proof of military service they might require upon your arrival.

Food & Beverage

54th Street Grill locations will provide veterans and active military members a free meal on Veterans Day up to $14 in value for individuals who arrive in uniform, show a military ID, or even have a photo of themselves in uniform.

7-Eleven will offer to all active-duty, guard/reservist, and veteran service members (as well as family members) a free coffee or Big Gulp beverage.

Applebee's Restaurants will offer all veterans and active-duty personnel a free meal from a limited menu at participating locations. The chain suggests that individuals contact their local Applebee's to learn about specific offerings in their area and that "offers may vary based on local mandates and guidelines."

Bob Evans Restaurants will offer to veterans and active-duty military a free meal from a select menu seven "home-style favorites," including their signature Country Biscuit Breakfast, Brioche French Toast, and Hand-Breaded Crispy Fried Chicken entrees.

Golden Corral will offer active-duty service members and veterans a gift card during the entire month of November, which will be redeemable for a free "Thank You" meal. Guests of military members must pay regular price for their meals.

Red Lobster will provide a free appetizer or dessert from a special menu—items including Lobster-Artichoke-and-Seafood Dip, Crab-Stuffed Shrimp Rangoon, and others—to veterans and active duty military members and reservists with a valid military ID.

Yard House will give active-duty and veteran military personnel a complimentary appetizer on Veterans Day. A valid military ID is required.

Goods & Services

Amtrak provides 10% savings on rail fares across the entire Amtrak network to veteran and active-duty military service members travelling until the end of January 2022. To take advantage of this offer, one must select "Military Veteran" as the traveler type when using the booking "widget" at the Amtrak website. The offer is not valid for non-Acela business class, first class, or sleeping accommodations, and the company states that purchases may also be "subject to any restrictions, blackouts, and refund rules that apply to the type of fare purchased."

Best Buy has discontinued its year-round, nationwide, companywide 10% off military veteran discount but some military veteran discounts are still offered in-store at some select locations. The company advises that individuals check with their local Best Buy for participation.

Dollar General is giving an 11% off total in-store or online purchase on Veterans Day for veterans, active military personnel, and military family members.

Grace for Vets is a program that "unites the car wash industry each year" by listing participating car wash establishments that provide veterans with a free car wash on Veterans Day. The effort has provided more than three million free car washes since 2003. This year, an estimated 1,500 independently owned and operated operators are participating.

Home Depot offers as a holiday promotion a 10% discount to active-duty, military, and reservist personnel at participating locations. Some stores offer up to 40% off selected products. Customers are required to show a valid government-issued military ID.

Lowe's home improvement stores offer all active duty, National Guard and reservists, retirees, and veteran service members and their immediate families a 10% discount on Veteran's Day.

Target Stores offer discounts of 10% off (both in-store and online) to all active-duty military personnel, veterans, retirees, guard members, reserve personnel and their families upon verification of service status at checkout.

Z Gallerie will offer a 25% off discount on regular-priced items to active-duty service members and veterans with a valid military ID.

Various & Sundries

Other activities and entertainment options abound—all National Parks will offer veterans and family members free admission to all National Park sites that typically charge an entrance fee. Zoos around the country will do the same (call the zoo nearest you to see if that facility is participating).

In addition, hundreds of bed and breakfasts throughout the United States will offer to veterans and active-duty personnel a free night's stay on and around Veterans Day through the "B&Bs for Vets" program, which is sponsored by the Association of Lodging Professionals. One must only call ahead to inquire or check the organization's website.

The 9/11 Memorial and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the USS Midway Museum in San Diego, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, the Delaware Art Museum, and the Portland Art Museum are among the hundreds of places offering free admission to active-duty service members and veterans on Veterans Day.

Further, military veterans enrolled in the 'VetRewards' program offered by AMC Theaters are eligible for discounted offers on movie tickets, popcorn, snacks, and drinks at the company's approximately 1,000 movie theatres nationwide throughout the year.

Final Words

For some people who never served in the military—and who don't have much use for history or tradition—it's just another day off from work. The banks are closed, which in the age of ATM machines is all but irrelevant. However, for those who served—and those who hold tremendous respect for that service—Veterans Day is kind of a big deal.

Nationwide, there are plenty of great ways in which business offer some special thanks to those who served, whether that service was in combat during wartime or during one of those periods in American history when peace was maintained through the sheer strength of America's military.

From me to you, sincerely and deeply, I say, "thank you."

Author

Doug Wyllie
Doug Wyllie

Web Editor

Doug Wyllie has authored more than 1,000 articles and tactical tips aimed at ensuring that police officers are safer and more successful on the streets. Doug is a Western Publishing Association “Maggie Award” winner for Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column. He is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers’ Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA).

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Doug Wyllie has authored more than 1,000 articles and tactical tips aimed at ensuring that police officers are safer and more successful on the streets. Doug is a Western Publishing Association “Maggie Award” winner for Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column. He is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers’ Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA).

View Bio
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