Free food and Memorial Day deals for active-duty military and veterans
By KELLY TYKO | USA Today | Published: May 24, 2019
While Memorial Day is for honoring military personnel who died in service, businesses across the nation are showing veterans and active-duty military personnel a little love to thank them for their service.
Veterans and other military personnel can enjoy free meals and receive other discounts when they show a military identification Monday.
At some businesses, discharge papers, Veterans Administration cards and veterans organization membership cards also can be used to prove service.
The discounts are similar to what businesses offer on Veterans Day, though on a smaller scale.
Some savings extend to spouses and families, and a few military discounts are offered year-round.
Ace Hardware: On Saturday, the hardware store chain is giving out 1 million free American flags to consumers nationwide. Visit participating stores to get a free 8-by-12-inch flag while supplies last. No purchase necessary. A second flag will be donated to a local VFW Post to be used for marking and honoring veteran graves this Memorial Day, the company announced.
Free food and meal deals
Participation can vary. To be on the safe side, check with your closest location.
Applebee's: Through May 31, participating restaurants are offering active, retired military servicemembers and their families to dine and receive 10% off their bill. Also for the month of May, get the Dollarita margarita for $1 at participating restaurants nationwide.
Chuck E. Cheese's: Military families including active-duty, National Guard, reservists and retired service members get special deals year-round when they show their Common Access Card, Uniformed Services ID Card or Dependent ID Card at restaurants.
Firebirds Wood Fired Grill: Veterans, active military and Gold Star family members get a free entree with the purchase of another meal Monday.
Fogo de Chão: Veterans and active duty personnel get 50% off meals Monday and up to three guests get 10% off their meals. Military identification required.
Hooters: Veterans and active military eat free from a special menu Monday with a military identification and drink purchase. Hooters also offers a daily 10% military discount and a special 20% military discount every Tuesday throughout the year at participating locations.
LaMar's Donuts: Veterans and active duty military get a free doughnut and small coffee Monday.
Logan’s Roadhouse: Active-duty military and veterans get a free meal from the American Roadhouse Meals menu with proof of service from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday.
McCormick & Schmick’s: Veterans, active military personnel, Gold Star parents and spouses and National Guard get a free entree Monday.
Naf Naf Middle Eastern Grill: The chain's new Heroes Appreciation discount starts Monday. Active and retired military personnel and first responders including police, fire and paramedic get 15% off Monday with a valid ID.
Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub: Veterans and active military who purchase any meal Monday get a free entrée from the “9 Real Size Entrées for $9.99 Menu.” Proof of service required.
Outback Steakhouse: Through Monday, active military, veterans, police officers and firefighters with valid state or federal identification get 20% off. There’s also a 10% everyday Heroes Discount for servicemen and women, police officers and firefighters.
Potbelly Sandwich Shop: All vets and active military get a buy-one-get-one offer on sandwiches, salads and Pick-Your-Pair when they show their ID.
Quaker Steak & Lube: Check with your local location for Memorial Day discounts for veterans and first responders.
Texas de Brazil: Veterans and active duty military get 50% off lunch or dinner Memorial Day through May 29 with military IDs. Plus up to eight guests get 20% off their meals.
Twin Peaks: All military personnel get a free meal from a select menu select menu item Monday with military identification. Also anyone who donates $5 to Folds of Honor at participating restaurants will get a $5 Twin Peaks gift card to use on their next visit.
More deals: Locally-owned businesses and regional chains also may have military free meals and discounts. One of the easiest ways to find out is to check restaurants' social media channels.
Memorial Day retail savings
Academy Sports + Outdoors: Through Monday, all active military, military veterans and first responders will receive 10% off their entire purchase.
Blue Star Museums: Through Labor Day, active military and their families get free admission to more than 2,000 museums.
Eyemart Express: Through May 31, veterans, active and non-active duty military personnel and their families get a 20% discount on eyewear purchases with a valid military, dependent, retiree, or DD214 card.
Food Lion: 10% off Monday with rewards card and military ID for military personnel, veterans and their family members.
Goodyear Auto Service: Active and retired military can make an appointment for Goodyear and Just Tires through Monday for a free car care check and 10% off Goodyear Tires. Valid ID is required and appointments can be booked for services performed through June 13.
National Vision: Through May 31, active-duty service members, retirees, veterans and their dependents get a 15% discount on eyeglasses, contact lenses and accessories the company’s America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses and Eyeglass World locations.
Omaha Steaks: Active-duty military, retirees, veterans, military spouses and dependents get 10% off Monday.
Sherwin-Williams: For Military Appreciation Month, active military, veterans and reservists as well as their spouses save an extra 10% on paints and stains.
Ongoing military discounts
Participation can vary by location and proof of military service is usually required.
A.C. Moore: 15% off total regular and sale price purchase with valid ID every day.
Advance Auto Parts: 10% off regularly priced items for in-store purchases for active-duty, reserve and retired status members, all veterans receiving VA benefits, spouses and dependent children up to 18 with proof of military status.
Bass Pro Shops: 5% everyday military discount.
Big 5 Sporting Goods: 10% off entire purchase for active duty, reserve military, retirees, veterans, spouses and dependent children with military ID or veteran status on driver’s license. In-store only.
Cabela's: 5% everyday military discount.
Home Depot: Active-duty military, National Guard and reserve, retiree and disabled service members and their spouses, get a 10% everyday discount. Veterans also get a discount for Memorial Day.
Home Town Buffet: The chain offers a 15% daily military discount to all active duty, reserve or retired military personnel in uniform or with a valid ID. There's a different discount on Mondays for Military Mondays.
Joann Stores: The arts and crafts store offers a 15% year-round discount for military service members and their families.
Kohl’s: Mondays are Military Mondays and active-duty military, retirees, veterans and family members get 15% off in-store when they show a valid military ID, military dependent ID or a veteran ID at checkout.
Michaels: 15% discount for military families every day.
Nike: Active, veteran, retired and reservists, spouses and dependents of active personnel get a 10% military discount at Nike.com and Nike, Converse and Hurley stores. To get the discount online, verification of eligibility is required and a military ID is required to get in-store savings.
Old Time Pottery: 10% military discount every day to active, retired military and their immediate families.
O'Reilly Auto Parts: In-store discount of 10% off retail price for most items for active duty, reserve members, retired service members and veterans with valid ID. Immediate family members of active duty or veterans are eligible for discount if they have a government issued dependent ID card (DD form 1173 or 1173-1).
Papa Murphy’s: According to the company’s website, a “limited number of our stores offer various discounts, including senior and military discounts. Please inquire at your local store as this discount is not offered or required at all locations.”
Pep Boys: 10% discount every day for active and retired military with valid military or veteran ID.
Rack Room Shoes: 10% military discount on Memorial Day and every Tuesday throughout the year with a valid military ID.
Roy Rogers: Active military get a 10% discount daily.
More discounts: Find additional discounts including at hotels and other online retailers at shop.id.me/military and www.sheerid.com, two verification sites. Another option is Veterans Advantage, which offers a one-month free trial. Learn more at www.veteransadvantage.com.
Upcoming military deal
Aspen Dental: As part of its annual Day of Service, Aspen Dental will open nearly 500 of its dental offices to provide free care to as many as 5,000 of our nation’s veterans June 8. Veterans should call 1-844-277-3646 (1-844-ASPENHMM) to find a participating office and schedule an appointment.
This story will be updated with additional deals through Friday night. Businesses with 20 or more locations can submit information to be added here.