A Closer Look Into Veterans Day

“We remember those who were called upon to give all a person can give, and we remember those who were prepared to make that sacrifice if it were demanded of them in the line of duty, though it never was. Most of all, we remember the devotion and gallantry with which all of them ennobled their nation as they became champions of a noble cause.” – Ronald Reagan

Happy Veterans Day! To every veteran, thank you so much for your service. Although those who have been, or currently are, in the Armed Forces deserve to be recognized every day of the year, it’s nice to have a day dedicated to coming together and acknowledging veterans and their importance. In honor of the holiday, many restaurants salute veterans by offering free meals! (Don’t forget to bring your Military ID and flash it with pride!)

Here's a list of some of the places offering free meals, according to Time, The full list is on the website!

"Applebee’s: Vets and active-duty military can have their pick from a special menu with options like three-cheese chicken penne, 7-oz. sirloin, and double crunch shrimp, free of charge (beverage and gratuity are not included). 

Bonefish Grill: Customers with military ID get a free order of Bang Bang Shrimp on Veterans Day.

California Pizza Kitchen: A special Veterans Day menu that includes pizza, salad, and pasta is free for vets and active-duty personnel.

Cracker Barrel: Grab a free dessert—the Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake—if you’re a veteran.

Denny’s: From 5 a.m. to noon, all veterans and active-duty personnel get a Build Your Own Grand Slam meal, with possibilities including pancakes, eggs, bacon, fruit, and hash browns.

Friendly’s: Participating locations are giving veterans and active military a free Big-Two-Do combo meal for breakfast, or free All American Burger with fries and a drink for lunch or dinner.

Hooters: All veterans and active-duty military personnel get an entrée on the house.

Hurricane Grill & Wings: All veterans and active military get a free meal from a special menu, as well as a non-alcoholic beverage.

IHOP: From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., all veterans and active-duty military members are welcomed to one order apiece of Red, White & Blue Pancakes, which come with glazed strawberries (red), blueberry compote (blue), and whipped cream (white.)

Little Caesars: Vets and active military can help themselves to a free, $5 Hot-N-Ready lunch combo, including four pizza slices and a 20-ounce beverage, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at participating locations.

Olive Garden: Customers with military ID get a free entrée such as chicken parmigiana, lasagna, or cheese ravioli, with unlimited soup or salad and breadsticks, and family members joining a veteran or active military member at the table get 10% off on Veterans Day.

Outback Steakhouse: Customers with military ID get a free Blooming Onion appetizer and free beverages on November 11, and all military and their families get 15% off the bill anytime from November 12 to December 31.

World of Beer: Show an ID card with proof of service and you’re welcomed to pick a free draught beer in this craft beer haven, with locations in 21 states."

Not listed, but Starbucks is offering free tall coffee to vets as well!

Both my parents are retired from the Armed Forces (mom, Air Force, dad, Navy) and I asked them both questions about this special day!

Q: What is your favorite thing about Veterans Day?

Mom: "I love seeing the men and woman who served come out at the parades, and it makes me feel proud that I am being recognized for all of my effort and dedication for all of my years in service."

Dad: "I like Veterans Day because we honor all the brave men and woman who served from both the past AND present."

Q: What was the most rewarding thing about being in the military?

Mom: "The most rewarding thing was the sense of belonging and serving for something that had an enormous purpose, even if we didn't feel it in the every day job."

Dad: "The pride and sense of accomplishment you feel that you actually served your country, and the sacrifices you gave and contributed to keeping this country safe and free!"

Take a moment from your day off from school or work and say thanks to any veterans you know. Go out of your way to thank the old man wearing the Navy hat for his service, or the young soldier wearing a Marines shirt. These are the people who fight to make our world a better place. Veterans Day should be every day!

*Happy Veterans Day to my mom, dad, and everyone else in the family! Thanks for being my heroes.*