When it comes to Veterans Day, I can’t help but feel immense gratitude and pride. I also can’t help but brag just a smidge.

My grandfather landed on Omaha Beach during World War II. His three brothers fought, too. My great-uncle Benny served with distinction in North Africa. My great Uncle Louis carried Japanese shrapnel throughout his life from the Battle of Okinawa. My great-uncle Stanley earned five battle ribbons (including the Battle of the Bulge) and received the Legion of Honor from the French government recognizing his help during the liberation of Paris.

My dad is a Vietnam combat veteran, my older brothers served in the Army and Air Force, and some of my closest friends (two of them female) are veterans of Operation Desert Storm and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Yeah, I know some pretty awesome people.

As a small token of appreciation, some retailers will offer discounts and freebies to military veterans and active duty personnel this Veterans Day.

Delta Sonic is giving away a free Super Kiss car wash with tire dressing and a free semi-synthetic oil change, as well as a free pizza at all its Delta Sonic Brick Oven locations.

Caputi’s Sheridan Pub, 2351 Sheridan Drive in the City of Tonawanda, hosts a free lunch buffet for veterans the second Thursday of every month from noon to 2 p.m.

Applebee’s, Chili’s and Bar Louis are giving a free entree from a limited menu today. Texas Roadhouse is offering a free lunch entree. Denny’s has all-you-can-eat free pancakes. Longhorn Steakhouse is giving away a free Texas Tonion. Red Robin is giving away a free Tavern Double burger.

Olive Garden is giving active and veteran military a free entree plus 10 percent off their family’s total bill. Outback Steakhouse is giving away a free Blooming Onion and soft drink today, plus 10 percent off the total check from Nov. 12 to Dec. 31. Carrabba’s and Red Lobster are giving a free appetizer. 7-Eleven is giving a free small Slurpee from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The Red Roof Inn is offering a 15 percent discount during the entire month of November to veterans, active duty military and their families. If booking online, use code 608455. The hotel chain offers a 10 percent discount to veterans year round. Best Western and Radisson offer special government per diem rates for active-duty military personnel year round. Motel 6 gives a 10 percent veterans discount year round.

Greyhound offers a 10 percent discount on walk-up fares or a maximum round-trip ticket price of $259 anywhere in the continental United States. Advantage offers discounted car rental rates.

Get 10 percent off at Lowe’s and Home Depot and 30 percent off photos at J.C. Penney. Search “veteran” at for a list of veteran-specific coupons, deals and promotions.

Bed Bath & Beyond, buybuy Baby and Christmas Tree Shops will give all active and veteran military and their families 20 percent off their entire purchase today.

The National Park Service is waiving all entrance fees at all parks today in observance of Veteran’s Day.

All military discount and freebie offers require proof of service.

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