Veterans Day is swiftly approaching this Saturday, and numerous businesses, theme parks, and restaurants are gearing up to extend discounts or complimentary offerings as a gesture of respect and gratitude toward those who have bravely served in the military.
As a federal holiday, Veterans Day holds the distinction of being one of the few holidays consistently observed on November 11, irrespective of the day of the week.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, November 11, 1918, is widely recognized as the conclusion of “the war to end all wars.”
This day serves as a poignant opportunity to “pay homage to America’s veterans for their unwavering patriotism, profound love for their country, and their selfless dedication to serving and sacrificing for the greater good.”
What is Veteran’s Day, and Why is it celebrated in the USA?
Veterans Day is a special day in the United States when they thank all the people who have served in the U.S. military. It happens every year on November 11.
Initially, it started as a way to remember the end of World War I, and now it’s a time to honor everyone who has fought for this country. The USA often has parades and events to show how much they appreciate their hard work and bravery. It’s a day for them to unite and thank the veterans who have kept their country safe.
Are schools going to shut down for Veterans Day?
Check out which Florida schools will be closing for the holiday.
Here’s a clue: only some schools will be closed.
Check calendars for your school district:
- Alachua County: Closed November 10.
- Bay County: Closed November 10.
- Brevard County: Closed November 10.
- Clay County: Closed November 10.
- Collier County: Open November 10.
- Duval County: Closed November 10.
- Escambia County: Closed November 10.
- Flagler County: Closed November 10.
- Indian River County: Open November 10.
- Lake County: Open November 10.
- Lee County: Open November 10.
- Leon County: Closed November 10.
- Manatee County: Closed November 10.
- Martin County: Open November 10.
- Nassau County: Open November 10.
- Okaloosa County: Closed November 10.
- Okeechobee County: Open November 10.
- Palm Beach County: A Veterans Day ceremony is planned on November 10 by the flagpole in the front of the Fulton-Holland Educational Services Center building to salute veterans on staff and enjoy student music.
- Polk County: Closed November 10.
- Santa Rosa County: Closed November 10.
- Sarasota County: Open November 10.
- St. Johns County: Closed. November 10.
- St. Lucie County: Open November 10.
- Volusia County: Closed November 10.
- Walton County: Closed November 10.
Is Veterans Day a federal holiday?
Indeed, Veterans Day is recognized as a federal holiday. If the holiday lands on a Saturday, federal employees mark the occasion on the Friday before. Consequently, this year, federal employees will have November 10 off.
What food and restaurant discounts or freebies are available to the military on Veterans Day?
Remember that many businesses might ask for proof that you served in the military, and not all chain stores participate in Veterans Day offers.
To be sure, contact the specific business in your area to confirm if they are providing the discount.
At 7-Eleven, veterans and active duty military members can receive a complimentary coffee or Big Gulp on Veterans Day using the 7-Eleven 7REWARDS Mobile App.
Abuelo’s Mexican Restaurant: Veterans and active-duty military members can pick a complimentary entrée from the Veterans Day menu on November 11 at chosen locations.
Anthony’s Coal-Fired Pizza: Veterans and active military personnel are eligible for a free 12-inch cheese pizza, available for dine-in or takeout.
Applebee’s: On November 11, those in active-duty military, veterans, reserves, and National Guard members dining in can enjoy a free full-size entrée from a special menu.
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s: Veterans can enjoy a free meal up to $10 without purchasing.
Ben’s Soft Pretzels: Veterans can claim a free pretzel on Veterans Day.
B.J.’s Restaurant and Brewhouse: On November 11, veterans dining in can indulge in a free Chocolate Chunk Pizookie with any purchase of $9.95 or more.
Additionally, veterans spending over $14.95 for dine-in or takeout will receive a coupon for a free appetizer, redeemable between November 12 and December 31.
Black Angus Steakhouse: Participating restaurants offer veterans and active military professionals an eight oz. Certified Angus beef top sirloin with mashed potatoes, broccoli, and a non-alcoholic drink for $10.99. Available for both dine-in and takeout. Military ID is required for this offer.
Bob Evans: Veterans and active-duty military personnel can enjoy a free meal from a selected menu on November 11. Offer valid for dine-in only.
Bonefish Grill: Active-duty service members and veterans can receive a complimentary order of bang bang shrimp with a soft beverage on November 11 upon presenting a valid I.D.
Bubba Gump Shrimp: Veterans can avail of a 20% discount on their meal on November 11, limited to one per check for parties of up to 4. This offer does not apply to alcohol.
Buffalo Wild Wings: Veterans and active-duty service members can claim a free order of 10 boneless wings and fries on November 11 by showing valid I.D. Offer only available for dine-in.
California Pizza Kitchen: Veterans and active-duty military members are eligible for a complimentary meal on November 11.
Carrabba’s: On November 11, veterans and active-duty military personnel can enjoy a complimentary dine-in appetizer or dessert with a non-alcoholic beverage upon presenting their I.D.
Chick-fil-A: Participating franchises offer a free chicken sandwich for all active-duty personnel and veterans. While there isn’t a chainwide discount, specific locations typically provide a daily 10% discount for active duty military and veterans, along with a free meal on Military Appreciation Days.
Chili’s: Veterans and active-duty service members can receive a free meal from a select menu on November 11 by showing proof of service. This offer is available for in-restaurant dining only.
Cicis Pizza: Veterans and active-duty military personnel can enjoy a free adult buffet on November 11.
Cracker Barrel: Veterans can enjoy a slice of Coca-Cola cake with any purchase.
Denny’s: On November 11, veterans and active military personnel can get a free build-your-own grand slam from 5 a.m. to noon. This offer is valid for dine-in only.
Duffy’s Sports Grill: Veterans can enjoy a complimentary meal on November 11 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., available for dine-in only.
Dunkin’: Participating locations offer veterans and active-duty military personnel a free donut of their choice on November 11. This offer is valid for in-store purchases.
Einstein Bros. Bagels: Veterans and active-duty military personnel can receive a free hot or iced coffee of any size with an in-store purchase on November 11.
Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers: All veterans and current military personnel visiting Freddy’s on November 11 will be given a free Freddy’s original double-with-cheese combo meal card.
Friendly’s: Veterans and active military personnel can receive a complimentary Veterans Day lunch or dinner (dine-in only) on November 11. Eligible customers will be served a free All-American burger with fries and a drink. Please present your military I.D. or honorable discharge card.
Golden Corral: On November 13 from 5 p.m. to close, Golden Corral is hosting its Military Appreciation Night, offering a free thank-you meal for those dining in.
Hooters: Active-duty military members and veterans can receive a complimentary entrée from the Hooters Veterans Day Menu when they purchase a beverage at participating locations on November 11. This offer is available for dine-in only.
Hurricane Grill and Wings: Veterans and active-duty military personnel dining in can enjoy a free entree from a special menu on November 11. Please present your military I.D. or wear your military uniform.
IHOP: Veterans and active-duty military members can enjoy free red, white, and blueberry pancakes or a combo on November 11 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. This offer is valid for dine-in only at participating restaurants.
Krispy Kreme Donuts: Veterans and active-duty military personnel are eligible for a complimentary doughnut and a small coffee on Veterans Day. No purchase, I.D., or coupon is necessary.
Little Caesars: Veterans and military personnel can claim a free lunch combo between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on November 11.
Longhorn Steakhouse: Veterans and active-duty military members receive a 10% discount and one free appetizer or dessert for their table.
Macaroni Grill: Veterans and active military personnel can enjoy complimentary mom’s ricotta meatballs plus spaghetti on November 11 by presenting their military I.D.
McDonald’s: Veterans and active duty military personnel visiting participating McDonald’s restaurants and showing valid I.D. will receive a complimentary breakfast combo meal.
Metro Diner: On November 11, active-duty and retired military personnel can receive a 50% discount with a valid military I.D.
Olive Garden: Veterans and active military personnel can avail of a free meal from the Veterans Day menu on November 11. Proof of service is required.
Outback Steakhouse: On November 11, active-duty military members and veterans can receive a free bloomin’ onion and beverage by purchasing an adult entree for in-restaurant dining.
Perkins: Veterans and active-duty military personnel can enjoy a free magnificent seven meals on November 11 with a valid I.D.
Pilot Flying J: Service members and their families can receive a free meal at participating locations from November 10 through November 12 through a special offer in the app.
Red Lobster: Veterans, active-duty military, and reservists can receive complimentary printed meal vouchers for Veterans Shrimp and Chips from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. local time on November 11. Guests must present a valid military I.D. or proof of service. The vouchers can be redeemed from November 13 through December 10 for dine-in only.
Red Robin: On November 11, veterans and active-duty military personnel can enjoy a complimentary Red’s Big Tavern Burger with a valid I.D. This offer is valid for dine-in only and includes an endless side of steak fries.
Ruby Tuesday: Enjoy a free sandwich with tots or fries at Ruby Tuesday. Some form of military I.D. is required.
Shoney’s: All U.S. veterans and current U.S. military personnel can receive a free All-You-Care-To-Eat Breakfast Bar until 11 a.m. on November 11.
Sizzler: Participating locations are offering a free lunch to active-duty military and veterans until 4:00 p.m. on November 11. Choose between a free Half Dozen Crispy Shrimp, Malibu Chicken, or 6oz Tri-Tip Steak entree.
Smokey Bones: Active duty and retired military personnel can enjoy a free create-your-own combo on November 11. This offer is valid for dine-in only with a valid military I.D.
Smoothie King: Active-duty military and veterans are eligible for a free smoothie from one of three red, white, and blue smoothies at participating locations on November 11 with a valid I.D.
Sonny’s BBQ: Veterans and active-duty military personnel can receive a free pork big deal on November 11. Visit their registration page to verify your military status and obtain your coupon. This offer is available for dine-in, takeout, and drive-thru.
Starbucks: On November 11, Starbucks is showing appreciation to veterans, military service members, and military spouses by offering a free 12-ounce hot or cold brewed coffee at participating U.S. stores.
TCBY: Veterans and active military personnel can claim their first six oz. of frozen yogurt for free on November 11 at participating locations.
Texas Roadhouse: Texas Roadhouse will distribute dinner vouchers at the stores’ parking lots on November 11 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Veterans and active-duty military personnel can redeem their vouchers later.
Toojay’s: Toojay’s offers a 25% discount for all active or retired military personnel, valid for dine-in only. Please show proof of I.D. or proof of service.
Wawa: All veterans, active military members, and their families can enjoy one free coffee of any size on November 11 at Wawa. No military I.D. is required.
Wendy’s: Active-duty military and veterans can receive a complimentary breakfast combo on November 11 at participating locations from 6:30 to 10:30 a.m.
White Castle: Veterans and active-duty military personnel can receive a free individual combo meal or a breakfast combo meal when dining at a participating restaurant on November 11.
Zaxby’s: Show proof of military status on November 11 and receive free boneless wings at participating locations.
Veterans can find additional discounts from Disney to Publix and beyond
Disney: Active or retired members of the U.S. military can access Disney Military Salute tickets. These tickets can be purchased at participating U.S. military sales outlets by eligible service members or their spouses for use by themselves, family members, and friends.
Florida Parks: Current and retired service members are eligible for a 25% discount on annual entrance passes to all Florida state parks annually. Those with service-related injuries receive a free lifetime military pass. Surviving spouses and parents of deceased veterans killed in combat also receive a free lifetime military pass.
Goodyear Auto Service: From November 10 to 14, Goodyear Auto Service and Just Tires locations offer free car care checks for active-duty military, veterans, and first responders. The promotion also includes a 10% discount on tires and services.
Legoland: Until November 30, military members and first responders, both active and retired, can receive a free one-day ticket to Legoland Florida Theme Park. Additionally, up to six guests accompanying these heroes can receive 50% off their one-day tickets.
National Parks: Gold Star Families and U.S. military veterans can obtain a free lifetime Military Pass. U.S. military members and their dependents are eligible for a free annual Military Pass. These passes grant free access to over 2,000 federal recreation areas, including national parks, wildlife refuges, and forests.
Publix: On November 11, all veterans and active military personnel can save 10% on groceries.
SeaWorld Orlando: SeaWorld’s Waves of Honor program provides U.S. active-duty military, activated or drilling reservists, or National Guardsmen with one complimentary admission per year to either SeaWorld or Busch Gardens for military personnel and as many as three direct dependents.
Universal Resorts Orlando: Discounts are offered to active-duty military and their spouses, retired military service members and spouses, and Department of Defense civilians. Specially priced tickets and vacation packages are available. Current military or Department of Defense identification is required.
Legoland deals: Legoland offers free tickets and other deals for military and first responders in November.
Military discounts and freebies around Florida
Escambia and Santa Rosa counties: Veterans Day 2023 offerings include free food, coffee, and additional discounts for military veterans on November 11.
Naples: Sails welcomes a new chef, five Veterans Day deals, and the return of two farmers markets.
Free passport photos: The Polk County Clerk’s office provides complimentary passport photos for veterans throughout November.
Jacksonville: Veterans Day 2023 brings various deals for military veterans, including free food, coffee, and other discounts on November 11.
Brevard County: Restaurants in Brevard County are providing discounts and other special offers for service members on Veterans Day.