Veterans Day should celebrate and honor our nation’s heroes, not be exploited by retailers

Sgt. Maj. Kim Davis, Sergeant Major, Marine Forces Reserve listens as an army Veteran shares stories of his experiences during the time he served many decades ago. Twelve Marines from Marine Forces Reserve Headquarters visited the home on the Marine Corps birthday, also the day before Veteran’s day, to meet and greet various Veterans.

You have to ask yourself, “Are the free meals offered to vets on Veterans Day really given in the true spirit of the holiday or are they marketing ploys to get more sales?”  How often do you bring a friend to eat with you at a restaurant?  Sometimes you bring your whole family.  This adds up to significant revenue for dining establishments.

Another interesting thought to ponder is “Why are Veterans Day sales offered to the entire public?”  How does that honor the service men and women who have served to protect our country?  Most of them are concerned about making ends meet and finding employment outside of the military.  Wouldn’t a discount year round, only to veterans, be a more appropriate gesture of appreciation?

According to The Washington Post, Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks Coffee Company, said that Veterans Day “has turned into a weekend sale” and more needs to be done to help others understand the military experience.

“That’s not respectful for me,” said Howard Schultz, speaking at an event for veterans at The Washington Post.

Schultz, who has never served in the military, is educating other corporations on the benefits of hiring veterans and integrating the practice into their company culture.

FOX News reported on a piece Shultz coauthored.  It provided insight and information on the journey of a returning veteran to the civilian world.  It challenged our citizens to “thank our veterans by standing with their families.”

A powerful message in the article reminded employers that development of veteran hiring policies and transition programs are not charity.  Hiring veterans and their spouses can be an investment that provides a tremendous return.  The military gives their troops top-notch training, teaching them about teamwork, adaptation and service.

The authors concluded with stating, “In short, our veterans and their spouses will do for our economy what they have already done for our national security – make it stronger.”

But even with naysay, Veterans Day is abundant with specials and discounts. Keep in mind, some will require a military ID or have other requirements.  USA Today shared a few:

  • Get a free haircut. Veterans who visit Great Clips shops on November 11, can either receive a free haircut or a card for a free haircut to redeem by December 31.
  • Drink a free coffee. Starbucks is offering a free, tall brewed coffee to all U.S. military veterans and active duty service members and their spouses.
  • Lick a free cone. Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream and Yogurt shops are giving away free single scoop ice cream cones to all veterans and military personnel on November 11.

Work-out for free. 24-Hour Fitness offers free use of the health club to vets and active military through November 11.

  • Get free game tokens. Chuck E. Cheese will give 20 free tokens to U.S. military vets and active-duty military through Saturday, November 15.
  • Get your junk hauled, free. For disabled veterans, JDog Junk Removal & Hauling locations, will offer free junk removal to disabled vets who book on Veterans Day. lists Veteran Day sales, open to both veterans and the general public.  They include:

  • 20% off Macy’s purchase
  • Up to 40% clearance sale at Nordstrom
  • 20% off
  • 15% off Bath & Body Works


The website also lists several restaurants that are offering a free appetizer, dessert or even an entire meal to vets on Veterans Day.  Plan your day right and you may eat for free the entire day.

It is easy to fall into the hype of the holiday.  Just remember the most important thing about the day is honoring the veterans of our military.  Without them protecting our freedoms, we might not have the luxury of eating out and shopping at our leisure.  Without them, we might not have any freedoms at all.

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