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Business & Economics

Businesses Offer Vets Veterans Day Discounts

Courtesy American Legion

Veterans Day is the time we honor those men and women who have served our country as members of America’s armed forces. And though communities across the country participate in this national day of recognition with parades and a variety of other celebrations, hundreds of businesses – large and small – also do their part to say “thank you” to our veterans. SDPB’s Jim Kent has more.
It began in 1919, when President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first “Armistice Day”. Recalling the end of hostilities of World War One at the 11th minute of the 11th hour of the 11th month of 1918, Armistice Day was intended to commemorate “the heroism of those who died in the country’s service” during that conflict.

Credit Photo by Jim Kent
"1918" linen postcard celebrating "Armistice Day" - the end of World War I.

Armistice Day became a legal holiday in 1926. The name was changed to “Veterans Day” in 1954 in order to recognize the service of those who took part in World War Two and the Korea War.

Since the 1970s, Veterans Day has become a celebration of the service of all veterans, whether in combat, in support roles behind the lines or in peacetime.

And with the renewed awareness of active-duty servicemen and women since the First Gulf War in the 1990s, many businesses have made an effort to show their support to those who serve…and have served…in uniform.

As a result, hundreds of businesses across the country offer discounts to veterans and active-duty military personnel on Veterans Day. Many are restaurants. From I-Hop, Applebee’s, Hy-Vee and Golden Corral to Bob Evans, Denny’s and Olive Garden…veterans are generally offered at least a  free entrée and sometimes a free meal.

Credit Courtesy Olive Garden
"Olive Garden":is one of hundreds of businesses across the country that offer discounts to veterans and active duty military personnel on Veterans Day.

Kassie Boone is manager of Olive Garden’s Rapid City location.

“Why we offer it to veterans?” Boone asks. “Oh. It seems obvious to me. I think just…you know…just to thank them for their service to our country. I mean, not everybody can do that…that’s for sure. So…just…just a big thank you.”

Other businesses that offer veterans discounts range from motels like Red Roof Inns to retailers like Sears and Tires Plus. Even the National Parks offer discounts on Veterans Day as their way of saying “thank you” to those who’ve served.

The following sites list businesses that offer discounts to military veterans and active duty personnel; some on Veterans Day only - others throughout the year.

NOTE: Contrary to past years. Golden Corral in Rapid City is offering its usual free buffet to veterans ON Veterans Day and not the Monday before (as it had in the past).