For Americans, Nov. 11 is Veterans Day. President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the federal holiday in 1954 to acknowledge and honor all those who have served in the United States armed forces. Many people, including most federal employees, get the day off work. Some spend it barbecuing with friends, some attend hometown parades or visit Arlington National Cemetery, and others spend it shopping to take advantage of the many Veterans Day deals intended to make it an extra special day for former and current service members and their families.
Naturally, the best Veterans Day discounts are reserved for the people the holiday is meant to honor. Retailers and restaurants across the country offer great deals on and around Nov. 11 that apply exclusively to men and women who have served in the US military. If they know where to look, veterans can receive some kickass deals, from free meals and car washes to discounted outdoor and recreational gear. And the list goes on.
To receive the deals they are entitled to, veterans must be able to prove they have served or are currently serving in the military. If shopping in-person, they should bring either a uniformed service identification card or military identification card, VA benefits card, veterans identification card, or a copy of their DD-214. Online, veterans may be asked to provide proof via the digital identity verification tool ID.me. Any veteran who has served honorably should have at least one of the necessary documents readily available.
Here’s everything else you need to know.
What Restaurants Have Veterans Day Deals in 2022?
Offers veterans and active-duty military service members one free meal item from a limited menu on Veterans Day only.
Veterans and active-duty service members can get a free “All-American Burger,” plus a side of their choice, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 11. The deal is available only for in-house dining.
Veterans and active-duty service members with a valid identification card will receive a free order of 10 boneless wings and french fries, whether dining in or taking out.
Between Nov. 7 and Nov. 9, California Pizza Kitchen will be donating 20% of all sales to the nonprofit charity called Disabled American Veterans. All veterans and active-duty service members can receive a free meal and nonalcoholic drink from California Pizza Kitchen’s preselected menu for dine-in or takeout. This deal is served in honor of Veterans Day. Remember to bring a valid military ID.
Veterans and active-duty personnel will receive a free meal at Chili’s on Nov. 11. The free meals offered include full-size entrées of chicken crispers (or boneless wings), chicken bacon ranch quesadillas, burgers, a soup and salad combo, and more. This offer is available for in-house dining only.
In years past, Chick-fil-A restaurants around the country have offered Veterans Day deals. For example, in 2019, the Chick-fil-A restaurants in Atlanta offered free meals to active-duty military service members, veterans, and their immediate families, while Alabama locations gave out free chicken sandwiches. Since Chick-fil-A restaurants are independently owned, call ahead to your local Chick-fil-A to see if it’s offering similar discounts this year.
Denny’s restaurants nationwide have a Veterans Day tradition of offering complimentary Build Your Own Grand Slam breakfasts to active-duty military personnel and veterans.
To honor American veterans, Golden Corral is hosting a “Military Appreciation Night” on Nov. 14, 2022, from 5 p.m. to close. This dinner provides free “thank you” meals to active-duty, National Guard, Reserves, retirees, and veterans. Families are welcome to attend the buffet-style dinner, but only customers who served are entitled to free meals.
Green Mill Restaurant & Bar is giving all active-duty service members and veterans one free menu item on Veterans Day. This deal is available at select locations and for dine-in customers only. Note: Beverages and gratuity are not included in the deal.
IHOP’s red, white, and blueberry pancakes are free all day for veterans and active-duty military service members on Veterans Day. The offer is only available to customers who dine in.
What Major Supermarket Chains and Retail Outlets Offer Veterans Day Deals?
Most of the major American retailers, like Costco and Walmart, generally do not offer Veterans Day deals, but some do.
Target is one major retailer that does offer Veterans Day deals. All US active-duty personnel, veterans, and their families will receive a 10% military appreciation discount through Target’s Circle Rewards program. The program offers markdowns on two purchases, either in stores or online, and is available the entire month of November.
Walgreens also celebrates Veterans Day. The company offers a 20% discount on regular priced items to active-duty service members, veterans, and their families that extends from Nov. 11 to Nov. 14.
Who Else Offers Veterans Day Deals?
Zips will be offering a free car wash to all veterans and active-duty military on Nov. 11. This offer is available at all 220 Zips Car Wash locations in the country.
Bass Pro Shops, the popular outdoor retailer, provides a 5% discount on most purchases for veterans and active-duty personnel. This Legendary Salute deal can be redeemed in-store as well as online at any time, not just on Veterans Day. While the discount applies to firearms and ammunition, there are some exclusions, including boats, trailers, and motors, ATVs/UTVs and trailers, tractors, alcohol, gift cards, and non-merchandise services, like hunting licenses.
Active-duty military members and veterans are eligible to receive a 10% discount on all purchases up to $400. The offer is available year-round. The deal also incorporates members from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, National Guard, and Gold Star spouses. Note: Veterans who received a dishonorable discharge are not eligible for the offer.
Similarly to Home Depot, Lowes offers a year-round, 10% military discount for all active-duty military and veterans of all service branches. This deal is applicable toward most full-priced items.
Jiffy Lube, a chain of more than 500 automotive oil change specialty shops, is offering a 15% discount to all current members of the US armed forces. No coupon is required; however, Jiffy Lube asks customers to present a military ID at checkout. The discount excludes batteries and brakes, alignment, and diagnostic services.
Do Gold Star Family Members Get Veterans Day Deals?
Occasionally businesses and organizations will offer Gold Star family members the same Veterans Day deals they offer veterans.
For example, the National Park Service offers a free lifetime access program for veterans, active-duty military personnel, and Gold Star family members. The program covers entrance fees to more than 2,000 national parks, wildlife refuges, and other federal recreation areas. It also covers entrance and standard amenity fees with associate agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the US Forest Service.
Gold Star family members must download a free access voucher from the National Park Service website, fill out the application, and present the pass to NPS staff in person. In previous years, these passes were provided on an annual basis only, but lifetime passes are now available. For more information, visit the National Park Service website.