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2014 Veterans Day Free Meals

by Ryan Guina

Veterans Day is a day to remember and thank military members for their service in the armed forces. As a military veteran, it always humbles me to see the thanks given by so many people on Veterans Day. Though none of us served for recognition, it is nice (and humbling) to be thanked for your service.

Many restaurants and retailers also offer veterans special discounts, or even free meals on Veterans Day. This is very generous on their part, and certainly something they don’t have to do. If you are a military veteran, I encourage you to participate in one or more of these events. These Veterans Day appreciation events are a great way to meet other veterans and show the restaurants and retailers you appreciate their generosity.

We recommend sharing this resource with any other Veterans you may know. You can also see a list of military discounts and more Veteran’s Day Meals and Discounts on our other site, The Military Wallet.

Veterans Day Ceremony - Free meals to honor veterans

Free Meals on Veterans Day

Notes: Offers may vary by location; please call ahead or verify offer first, especially with franchises. Most offers require military ID or other proof of service such as a veterans designation on your drivers license, veterans organization card (e.g. VFW, American Legion), or military discharge papers. Please see this list of free Veterans Day meals for more information on days, times, and eligibility.

  • Applebee’s – free meal, Nov. 11, 2014.
  • Bar Louie – Free meal on Veterans Day, Nov. 11. 2014.
  • Chili’s – free meal, Nov. 11, 2014.
  • Denny’s Free Build Your Own Grand Slam 5 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Nov. 11, 2014.
  • Famous Dave’s – Free or discounted meals on Veterans Day (participating locations only). Nov. 11, 2014.
  • Golden Corral – Free meal, Nov. 17, 2014.
  • Hooters – Free Meal up to $10.99 w/ drink purchase, Nov. 11, 2014.
  • Krispy Kreme – Free doughnut and small coffee at participating locations, Nov. 11, 2014.
  • Lone Star Steakhouse – Free Starter at participating locations. Nov. 11, 2014.
  • Max & Erma’s – Free Best Cheeseburger in America Combo, Nov. 11, 2014.
  • McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants – Free Meal, Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014.
  • Outback Steakhouse – A free Bloomin’ Onions and non-alcoholic beverage Nov. 11, 2014.
  • Red Robin – Free Red’s Tavern Double and Bottomless Steak Fries at participating locations. Nov. 11, 2014.
  • Shoney’s – Free All-American Burger to veterans and active duty servicemembers. Nov. 11, 2014.
  • Sizzler – Free Lunch until 4 p.m., Nov 12, 2014.
  • Texas Roadhouse – free lunch (11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.) from special menu, Nov. 11, 2014.
  • T.G.I. Friday’s – Free Lunch (11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.) at aparticipating locations, Nov 11, 2014.
  • The Olive Garden – Free entrée from special menu. Nov. 11, 2014.

Veterans Day Discounts (retailers):

  • Amazon.com – Free MP3 album download “Veterans Day Honor
  • Dollar General. 10% discount on entire purchase on Veteran’s Day.
  • Free Car wash. Thousands of car washes around the country are offering vets a free car wash on Veterans Day. Find a list at Grace for Veterans.
  • Great Clips. Free hair cut.
  • Home Depot Military Discount – with proof of military service.
  • Lowe’s Military Discount – with proof of military service. (more info on Home Depot and Lowe’s Military Discount).
  • Sport Clips Discount – free haircut at participating locations.

Veterans Day Events:

  • Colonial Williamsburg Free Admission, Nov. 7-11, 2014.
  • Fee Free Day at National Parks. Over 100 national Parks will be participating in this event November 11, 2014.
  • Historic Jamestowne – Free Admission November 11, 2014.
  • Knotts Berry Farm Military Tribute Days – Free Admission. Military Tribute Days (Nov 2 – 21). Current and former military personnel plus one guest get in FREE with proper ID.
  • Pro Football Hall of Fame – Free Admission Nov. 8, 2014.

My wife and I are both military veterans, and we went to McCormick & Schmick’s last year. This year Golden Corral and several other restaurants are offering the Veterans Day meal on a date other than Veterans Day. This gives military veterans an opportunity to take advantage of more than one meal at various restaurants if they so choose.

Please pass this info along if you know any military veterans, and thanks to all who have worn the uniform!

Photo credit: uscgpress


Published or updated November 11, 2014.
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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Craig

The free meals are an awesome way to help honor our vets.

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2 Brock Price

I am an Operation Enduring Freedom veteran. I work in Norman, Oklahoma. This morning I called the Subway at 2339 W. Main Street (405-364-6555), and I spoke with the manager. I asked him what proof I needed to show I’m a veteran. The manager said I needed a coupon and an ID. He wouldn’t tell me where I could get the coupon, and I told him that many veterans only have their DD214 (not an ID) as proof of being a veteran. He told me (in so many words) that I was SOL. THIS IS SIMPLY A PR STUNT for his restaurant.

Why would restaurants like this require photo ID proof of being a veteran? It’s because they don’t even know the proof veterans have of being a veteran, and (I fear) they don’t really care. To many, this is simply a PR stunt to keep up with the competition. Once again, military people are getting used and abused.

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3 Nancy Selby

Hi, Brock. I never tried Subway, but had the most awesome meal at Olive Garden here in Hanover, PA. To top it off, after the filling meal, my dessert came out slightly frozen, so they let me take it home and offered me another one to eat there. And then, even better, a printed Thank You card with a $10 gift certificate inside. Now that’s appreciation and I appreciate The Olive Garden. (p.s. The only I.D. I had was the DD214 and I think they probably would have believed me without showing it. Try a better restaurant next year.

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4 Elise T.

Hope everyone had a happy Veterans Day. Just wanted to let you know that GM is continuing to celebrate Vets Day by extending their GM Military Discount to all military retirees for the month of November. If you or someone you know might be interested, go to General Motors ( GM ) Military Discount Program for more details on the program and savings. Thank you soldiers and vets for all you’ve done for our country.

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5 James Briese

Is there a way to get submitted to this list for next veterans day? I know so many businesses that would love to offer discounts to veterans.

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6 Rod Douglas

To the Vet who didn’t have identification. Use your VA card if you have one and if you don’t just go the nearest VA Clinic or Hospital. Hope you have a great Veterans Day. Now for the “FORGOTTEN VETS OF THE VIETNAM WAR” we are still trying to get you medical and monetary compensation for “Agent Orange ” exposure in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Burma. I hope that the U.S. Legislators who were against us getting equal treatment were voted OUT. Presently only people who worked around the base perimeter are able to get benefits. My self and many others lived in barracks in Thailand located as close as 25 feet away from the perimeter and have “Agent Orange” related diseases. Happy Veterans Day to All’
Sincerely,
Rod

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7 peggy barnett

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to let vets have a day of anything free. Thank you for your log on page. From One Vet to another, thank you. You have no idea how this helps some vets. Peggy Barnett U.S.ARMY.

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8 Casper

We stopped in a 7-11 in Oregon for the free slurpee (one veteran – one active duty, both with ID). We were turned away and told NO 7-11 in our area is paricipating. He acted as though we were trying to scam him for heaven’s sake. :(

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9 Rickey L. Branum

This is the first year that I am able to celebrate Veteran’s Day for a free meal. For 30 years I did get a free meal and ate with some of the best military folks in the world, Army, Air force, and Marines. I pray that all veterans are well and with some one you care for. Please remember the veterans that are homeless. Do what you can. God bless our Army troopers, AirForce men and women, Navy men and women, and Marines.

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10 Larry Darby

If you really want to do something tangible for veterans forget the hamburgers and bumper stickers. Go to meetings that politicians hold when they are campaigning for office and demand that they support adequate funding for the Veterans Administration. Get educated about this and make them be specific. Get loud. Don’t let them escape or avoid your questions.

Plenty of people say “support our troops” with very little or no meaning behind it. Tell the politicians you want to pay higher federal taxes for educational and medical programs for veterans. Or do you really mean it when you talk about “our heroes”?

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11 Anissa from Dallas

Greetings and blessings to all present and former military from a Desert Storm veteran: I just wanted to confirm what Brock Price said. Hardly any of the Subway’s in the Dallas area participate. I tried about five last year and only one participated and three this year and none participated! I feel that because they are a highly franchised company this happens, however I think that they should stop taking advantage of Veteran’s day to ” advertise”. I personally will never go to them again during Veterans Day or possibly never period. I felt very disappointed and used.

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12 Ryan Guina

Subway was not included in our list, as they weren’t promoting free meals. The corporate office makes a large donation to military charities as their way of supporting the military community. There are dozens of other restaurants out there offering meals or discounts, so it shouldn’t be difficult to find one, especially in a large metropolitan area.

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13 Rosemary C. Anderson

I am a disabled veteran, 63, living in an old house without plumbing or running water. I can’t find a church to help me although one church I’ve gone to for five years owns millions in tax-free real estate and takes in millions each year. Don’t bother thanking me for my service–HELP ME in real life!–

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14 George

First off, Happy Veterans Day to everyone and thank you for your service and sacrifices. I’m from south of Norman, OK and find that there are a ton of places and people that support us as vets and yes there are a few that don’t seem to care. They ask for an ID because any Joe blow could walk in with a fake dd214 and get a free meal. Oklahoma has the option to have a veteran logo on your drivers license which I think is the best idea they’ve had in a while. No one questions it and it is just as accepted as a va ID. Olive garden in Norman is up there with the top in Norman for veteran appreciation. They forgot my wife’s meal last year on an 80 dollar ticket and remade the entire order for us and an 80 dollar gift card plus we kept the first order. 240 worth of food for 80 can’t complain. Headed there today.

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15 Scott West - USAF

I wish to convey a very happy Veteran’s Day to all, especially my fellow brothers and sisters who are service veterans out there, thank you so much for taking time out of your life to serve and sacrifice for my country! And please, let’s all take a moment today (and every day) to reflect, remember and honor those who gave everything for our freedom, after all they are the real heroes, although certainly not the only ones.

Ditto on everyone’s Subway comments, no disrespect intended, but avoid them altogether if they can’t be flexible enough to accept DD214s or training certificates that quite OBVIOUSLY prove you’ve given of yourself that which they never have, nor could ever understand.

Olive Garden in Columbia, MO is where I’ll be spending my money later this afternoon, sounds like their Norman, OK and Hanover, PA franchises got it right. Also remember to tip your servers fairly!

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16 Ryan Guina

Thanks for your comment, Scott! We don’t list Subway for the discounts. Most are franchises, and some offer a meal or discount, and some do not. But there are many wonderful alternatives. Thanks for your service!

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17 Lena @ WhatMommyDoes

Thanks for putting together this list of freebies! I’m sharing it on Facebook!

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18 Kalen Bruce

My wife and I had Chili’s for lunch and we are having free Rib Crib for dinner. I can’t wait for Golden Corral next Monday. That’s always my favorite! Thanks for the list, Ryan!

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19 Ryan Guina

Awesome, Kalen! Thanks for your service!

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20 Jon @ Money Smart Guides

Good to see more and more companies offering up free meals and discounts to those that fought for our freedom. I really like how other stores have started offering a standard 5-10% off everyday for our veterans.

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21 Dale

Goodwill honors veterans every Thursday with a 25% discount

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