Businesses and state attractions honor service members

"The nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten." - Calvin Coolidge, President of the United States from 1923 to 1929.

Mementos are placed at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, U.S., on the Veterans Day, November 11, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

RALEIGH – On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, the battlefields of Europe fell silent at the end of World War I.  That day was celebrated as Armistice Day until 1954 when President Dwight D. Eisenhower changed it to Veterans Day in honor of all who’ve fought for the nation.

As North Carolinians recognize the nation’s veterans with parades, ceremonies and reunions for those who fought together, businesses across the state are honoring service members on Veterans Day.  Free meals and special discounts are offered today at all kinds of retail stores and restaurants. Harris Teeter, Food Lion, Publix and Target are all offering either ten or eleven percent off of purchases for veterans and active duty service members. Autobell Car Wash is giving a free drive-thru car wash and N.C.’s state attractions are opening their doors at reduced rates to service members. Here are a few fun things to do today, but for a full list visit or



Cape Fear Botanical Garden – Fayetteville, NC
Free admission between 9am-5pm on November 11, for veterans and active duty. Discount applies to service member only.

Cape Fear Serpentarium – Wilmington, NC
Veteran’s are free now 11.5.17 through Veteran’s Day 11.11.17. Active Military is FREE with ID. Military dependents, retired are discounted.

Carolina Butcher Shop – Angier, NC
Veterans Day free lunch.

Discovery Place, Inc. Museums – Charlotte, NC
Veterans and military personnel are invited to receive free admission on Veterans Day. Tickets for accompanying family are available at a discounted rate of $2 off.

JJ’s Red Hots – Charlotte, NC
Veterans can enjoy a free meal on Veterans Day, Saturday, November 11, 2017. Offer includes unlimited hot dogs, sausages, sides and non-alcoholic drinks all day.

North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island – Manteo , NC
Visit the aquarium for free on November 11th in honor of Veterans Day and donate to our food drive.

Sabor Latin Grill – Charlotte, NC
Veterans are invited to try a free arepa on Veterans Day, Saturday, November 11, 2017.

Tryon Palace – New Bern, NC
On November 11th, all active duty and military veterans will receive free admission with the presentation of their military ID. Discounted admission is offered for immediate family members.

Veterans and Active Duty Military can select a free meal from a limited menu on Veteran’s Day. Provide proof of service required.

Bob Evans
Bob Evans Restaurants are offering free select menu items to Veterans and Active Duty Military on Veterans Day, Sat., Nov. 11.

Bonanza Steakhouse
On Veterans Day, all former and current military service men and women enjoy a free buffet (beverage not included), at all participating Bonanza Steakhouses. Contact your local Bonanza for more details.

Bruegger’s Bagels
U.S. Military Veterans and active military members who show ID and proof of service can receive a Free Small Drip Coffee. No purchase necessary.

California Pizza Kitchen
On Veterans Day, all veterans or active duty military personnel will be able to select a free entree from a special Veterans Day menu including pizza, salads and pasta. Please come in uniform or bring your military ID or other proof of service.

Cicis Pizza
Free pizza buffet if you show a valid Military ID.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store
Veterans receive a complimentary Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola® Cake dessert to veterans and an opportunity for guests to make purchases that support Operation Homefront.  Veterans Day only.

Dunkin’ Donuts
On November 11, Veterans and active duty military can enjoy a free donut at Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants nationwide, no purchase necessary

Hooters Free Meal
Hooters invites all veterans and current servicemen and women to a Hooters Veterans Day free meal from their select Veterans Day menu by presenting a military ID or proof of service at participating Hooters locations across the country on 11-11.

Krispy Kreme – Free doughnut and small coffee for active-duty, retirees and veterans.

K&W Cafeteria
Free meal that includes choice of entrée, two vegetables, bread and beverage, with the presentation of your military ID on Veterans Day. Offer valid from 11a.m. to closing.

Little Caesars Pizza
On Saturday, November 11, from 11am to 2pm, veterans and active military members can receive a free $5 HOT-N-READY® Lunch Combo.

Menchie’s Free Frozen Yogurt
On Veterans Day, all Veterans and military personnel with a military ID or dressed in uniform will receive a free six ounce frozen yogurt any time of day on Veterans Day 11.11.  Show a valid ID or be in uniform to receive.

O’Charley’s will honor our military on Veterans Day by offering veterans and active duty service members a free $9.99er entree at any location on November 11th. Additionally, O’Charley’s offers a 10 percent military discount all year long.

On The Border Free Entree
This Veterans Day, all veterans and active duty military will receive a free combo meal at OTB’s. The meal is from the”Create Your Own Combo menu,” which is a “choose 2” or “choose 3” menu.

Outback Steakhouse Free Bloomin’ Onion® and a beverage
All active, retired military and veterans get a free Bloomin’ Onion® and a beverage on Veterans Day. Must have valid identification. Additionally, November 12 through November 16, military members will receive 20% off their check and, beginning November 17, Military, Fire and Police heroes will receive 10% off their check.

Red Lobster
To thank Veterans, active duty military and reservists, Red Lobster will offer a free appetizer or dessert from their select Veterans Day menu. To receive offer, show a valid military ID on Saturday, November 11th.

Red Robin
All Veterans and Active Duty Military get a free dine-in Red’s Tavern Double Burger and Bottomless Steak Fries on Veterans Day 11/11.

Ruby Tuesday
This Veterans Day, all former and active duty service members of the military can enjoy a free appetizer.

Texas Roadhouse
On Saturday November 11th, select from a free special veterans lunch menu including a beverage and sides.

TGI Fridays Free Lunch
Guests who show valid military ID can enjoy a free lunch menu item up to $12. This offer is valid on Saturday, November 11th, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time.

Buffalo Wild Wings Free Wings
All day long on Friday, November 11, veterans and active duty military who dine at their local B-Dubs can receive a free small order of 10-12 traditional or boneless wings and a side of fries.

Chili’s Free Meal
Veterans and active-duty military receive a free meal on Veterans Day from a special Veterans Day menu. Must show proof of military service.

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit
Veterans and active military who eat at Dickey’s on Friday, November 11th, may enjoy a free meal which includes a sandwich, side and a Big Yellow Cup, up to a $12 total value. Anyone who dines with a veteran is offered a free Big Yellow Cup with applicable purchase.

Einstein Bros.
Free Bagel and shmear with purchase for any retired or active service members on 11/11. Just stop on in and ask.


As holiday shopping gears up, Operation Homefront and Dollar Tree will join forces again this year to help military families make the holidays a little brighter.  The nonprofit’s Holiday Toy Drive will have collection boxes at Dollar Tree stores to help enlisted families with holiday expenses. Operation Homefront volunteers collect these toys to be distributed at the nonprofit’s holiday events and through on-base Family Readiness Groups.

“Our work together over this holiday season continues to demonstrate our collective appreciation for their exceptional service and the importance of our efforts to help this very special group of our fellow Americans thrive in the communities they have worked so hard to protect,” said Brig. Gen. (ret.) John I. Pray Jr., president & CEO of Operation Homefront.