Keep in mind that most businesses require proof of military service, which can include a VA Universal Access Card, Military I.D., DD-214 (Discharge Papers), Veterans Service Organization Card (VSO's include groups like the VFW, DAV, AmVets, MOAA, FRA, and the American Legion), or in some cases businesses will accept a picture of the veteran in uniform.
The following is a list of 2012 Veteran and military discounts, Buy One Get One (BOGO) offerings, and this year's offerings even include some honest-to-goodness free meals:
Note: Not all franchise locations participate in their national chain's Veterans Day programs -- be sure contact your nearest establishment to make sure they are participating.
[This list will be updated as more businesses announce their 2012 Veterans Day offerings]
Veterans Day Restaurant Offerings:
7-Eleven - Offers will be offering veterans and servicemembers a free small slurpee on Sunday Nov. 11, 2012.
Applebees - All Veterans and active duty military eat free from a limited menu at Applebee's on Veterans Day (Nov. 11).
BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse - On Monday, November 11, 2012 BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse will offer veterans and servicemembers will be able to get a free lunch entree or a one-topping mini or individual pizza. Click here to find a location near you.
Chili's - Veterans and active duty dine for free from a special limited seven-item menu from 11am - 5pm on Veterans Day.
Famous Dave's ? Free or discounted meals on Veterans Day. Offer varies by location. Click here for list of locations and specific offerings.
Golden Corral - Golden Corral Restaurants' Military Appreciation Monday free dinner will be available on Monday November 12, from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Military retirees, Veterans, active duty, National Guard and Reserves are all welcome.
Hooters - All Veterans and active duty get 10 Free Boneless Wings with the purchase of a drink.
Krispy Kreme - All active-duty, retirees & Veterans get a free doughnut and small coffee on Veterans Day. Be sure to call ahead to verify your local Krispy Kreme is participating.
Little Caesars® Pizza - Little Caesars will honor members - past and present - of the armed forces on Monday Nov. 12, 2012, by providing veterans and active military members with a free Crazy Bread® with proof of military status or proof of service at participating stores nationwide.
Lone Star Steakhouse - On Monday, 11/12/2012, all veterans and active duty military will receive a FREE entrée from our Stars & Stripes Menu. See your local restaurant for details. Be sure to call ahead to verify local participation. Be sure to call ahead to verify local participation.
Max and Erma's - On Veterans Day, Sunday, November 11, participating Max & Erma's locations are saluting veterans and active military personnel with a free Best Cheeseburger in America Combo.
McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurants - On November 13, participating McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurants offer a complimentary entree to vets from a special menu on a space available basis, online reservations are highly recommended. Be sure to contact your local McCormick & Schmick's to ensure they are participating.
O'Charley's - O'Charley's will thank veterans and active duty military personnel, celebrating their service, by providing them with a complimentary meal on Monday, November 12. With their military I.D. or other proof of service, servicemen and women will receive their choices of meal from the O'Charley's "$9.99er" menu.
Outback Steakhouse - The week of November 11th- 12th, Outback will be offering Veterans and servicemembers a Free Bloomin' Onion and Cocoa-Cola product (non-alcoholic) beverage. In addition, Outback is offering all military servicemembers and veterans who present a proper ID* or a photo in uniform, will receive a 10% discount off their entire guest check.
Sizzler Steak House - Veterans and servicemembers can get a free lunch on Monday Nov. 12, 2012 until 4:00pm. The limited menu includes 3 entrees - 6 oz. Steak, Malibu Chicken, or a Half Dozen Fried Shrimp. Click here to check if your local restaurant is offering the Veterans Day freebie.
Subway Restaurants - For Veteran's Day, Subway will be offering free six inch sub or flatbread to military Veterans. Please call ahead to verify your local Subway franchise is participating.
T.G.I. Friday's - Veterans and Servicemembers can get a free lunch on Monday Nov. 12, 2012. Contact your nearest location for more details on their Veterans Day offer.
The Olive Garden - Veterans and servicemembers can get a free entrée choice from a special menu. The entrée choices include garlic bread sticks and choice of soup or salad. The offer is good on Sunday Nov. 11, 2012 at locations in both US and Canada.
Texas Roadhouse - Texas Roadhouse locations - nationwide - will offer veterans a free lunch on Monday Nov. 12, 2012. Choose from one of 10 free meals, plus sides and a drink. Offer good for ALL veterans - including all active, retired or former U.S. military.
UNO Chicago Grill - Veterans and active military members can get a free entrée or individual pizza with the purchase of an entrée or pizza of equal or greater value. This offer is good from Sunday, November 11 through Monday, November 12. Military ID or proof of service is required, but no coupon is needed.
Veterans Day Travel and Recreation:
Aqua Hotels & Resorts - 10% off for veterans.
Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort - Active and retired military receive special rates and discounts on golf and amenities from November 8 - 11, including resort hotel room discounts, discounts off golf packages, and discounts on beach and umbrella rentals.
Veterans Day Retailer Offerings:
AARP Driver Safety - Get a free AARP Driver Safety classroom course or 50% off an online course.
Home Depot - Offers a 10 percent discount to all Veterans during Veterans Day, Memorial Day and Independence Day. Home Depot offers the 10 percent discount year round to for active duty and retirees.
Lowe's - All Veterans receive the 10-percent discount on Veteran's Day, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. The offer is available in stores only and is limited to in-stock and special-order purchases of up to $5,000.
Steve Madden - The shoe seller is doubling its everyday military discount for servicemembers on Veterans Day, for a total 30 percent off all regular-priced merchandise. Bring a form of military identification (past or present) to a Steve Madden store.
National Parks - Veterans Day weekend (November 10-12) Veterans will be invited to visit over 100 National Parks for free.
Year-Round Veterans Discounts:
Foot Locker- Veterans, Servicemembers (Active, Guard, and Reserve), and their immediate families with a Foot Locker Veterans Advantage Card receive a 20 percent discount every day of the year. That offer is good both online and at any store location, including Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker, Footaction and Champs Sports ? even on sale items.
Home Depot - Offers a 10 percent discount (up to a $500 maximum) to all active military, reserve, retired or disabled Veterans and their family members with a valid military ID. All other Veterans qualify for a 10 percent discount during Veterans Day, Memorial Day and Independence Day.
Lowe's - Lowe's offers a year-round 10 percent discount offer for all active duty, National Guard and Reserve, retirees and disabled Servicemembers and their immediate families. All other Veterans receive the 10-percent discount on Veteran's Day, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. The discount is available on in-stock and special-order purchases of up to $5,000. The offer can't be used on sales at Lowes.com, on previous sales or on sales of services or gift cards. You must present a valid military I.D. card to receive the discount.