The ultimate, big bad list of 2020 Veterans Day discounts and freebies - We Are The Mighty
Veterans

The ultimate, big bad list of 2020 Veterans Day discounts and freebies

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: the day the world rejoices, the skies part and veterans are offered countless freebies. This year, retailers across the country are offering deep discounts on everything from car washes to televisions. Make sure you double check the official site information and specific rules before heading out to claim your discount. You’ll need to bring your CAC, be in uniform or have proof of your veteran status to get the discounts. Some promotions include fine print that indicate participating locations only, so call ahead or reach out on social media first. 

Dining discounts available all November 

Eat’n Park
All active and former United States military personnel will receive a special 10% discount for the entire month of November.

Golden Corral
From November 1 – November 30, 2020, all active and former military members can pick up a free “thank you meal” promotional card that’s good for one free lunch or dinner buffet and beverage. The promotional card can be used Monday – Thursday after 11am from November 1 – May 31, 2021. One promotional card per person.

McCormick and Schmick’s Free Entree
Veterans and Gold Star families (parents and spouses) can enjoy a half priced lunch or dinner at McCormick and Schmick’s on Sunday, November 8th, 2020.

Texas de Brazil
Veterans receive 25% off dinner Monday, November 9 through Thursday, November 12.

Tucanos
Free Churrasco Meal with the purchase of another Churrasco meal or a ½ price meal available for veterans dining solo). Plus, post a selfie at Tucano’s and get a free dessert certificate. Mon., Nov. 9 through Wed., Nov. 11.

Dining discounts available on Wednesday, November 11, 2020

54th Street Grill & Bar
Free entree up to $12 on Veterans Day (Wed 11-11-20) for Veterans + Active Duty who dine inside 54th Street. #54supportsvets

7-Eleven
Get a free coffee or Big Gulp on Memorial Day, July 4th, and Veterans Day. Download the 7-Eleven app and sign in or register.

Ahipoke Bowl
On Nov. 11, veterans and active-duty military receive 50% off poke bowls. Dine-in or take out.

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

Arooga’s
Active Duty military and veterans with a valid ID can choose a free item from a special menu on 11/11/2020 at participating locations

Aspen Creek Grill
On Wednesday, Nov. 11th, all veterans and active duty military can select from a complimentary menu from 11 am to close.

Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar
From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Veterans & Active Duty servicemen and women receive a free BD’s All American Burger & side with valid Military ID. In person only.

Bagger Dave’s
Active, non-active, reservists, retired personnel, and first responders with proof of military identification get one Great American Cheeseburger and fries. 

Bandana’s Bar-B-Q
Veterans and active duty get a free Budget Buster Meal on Wednesday, 11/11/20.

Bar Louie
Wednesday, November 11th Louie nation is offering a free craft burger or flatbread of your choice to all active or retired military.

Ben’s Soft Pretzels‏
Free pretzel for veterans and active military.

BIBIBOP Asian Grill
BIBIBOP is giving all Veterans and Active Duty Military a free bowl.

Black Angus Steakhouse
Participating restaurants will offer veterans and active military an All-American Steak Plate for just $10.99 plus all the fixings and a non- alcoholic beverage. 

BJ’s Restaurant
All service members can enjoy a complimentary entree up to $14.95, plus a free Dr Pepper, by presenting a military ID or proof of service.

Bob Evans
Bob Evans Restaurants are offering free select menu items to Veterans and Active Duty Military.

Brick House Tavern + Tap
20% off meal on Nov. 11 for veterans and parties up to 4.

Bubba Gump Shrimp
Military personnel and their families receive 20% off on food and retail purchases.

Buffalo Wild Wings Free Wings
Veterans and active duty military who dine-in at their local B-Dubs can receive a free one order of boneless wings and a side of fries. 

Calhoun’s
All veterans and active duty military members can enjoy a free meal.

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.

Cantina Laredo
Veterans and active duty military can receive a complimentary meal on Wed., Nov. 11.

Casey’s General Store
Casey’s is providing free coffee across its more than 2,200 locations.

Cattlemens Steakhouse
Cattlemens Steakhouse offers current and former military members a complimentary 8 oz. Sirloin Steak dinner.

CentraArchy Restaurants
CentraArchy Restaurants are showing their gratitude by honoring veterans and active duty military service members with 50% off an entrée. 

Chicken Salad Chick
Chicken Salad Chick is offering a free Chick Special and regular size drink to any veteran or active-duty military personnel who visits.

Chili’s Grill & Bar
All veterans and active duty military personnel can choose a complimentary meal from a select menu on Veterans Day 2020.

Cicis Pizza
Free adult buffet with valid active duty or retired military ID on 11/11/20.

Coco’s Bakery & Restaurant
Receive a free slice of pie for all Veterans and Active Duty Military with proof of service plus buy one get one free entree for breakfast, lunch or dinner on Veterans Day.

Colton’s Steak House
Veterans eat free from 11am-4pm. Free entree valid for all active, former, or retired military when ordering from Veterans Day menu.

Connors Steak & Seafood
Connors Steak & Seafood locations in TN, AL, and FL are offering 50% off any dine-in lunch or dinner entree to all active duty and retired service members with military ID or in uniform.

Cotton Patch Cafe
Veterans and active duty may enjoy a free Chicken Fried Steak or Chicken Fried Chicken on veterans Day.

Country Cookin
All active, reserve, retired, and honorably discharged members of the U.S. military are invited to dine and receive a free salad bar or $5 off any entree.

Country Kitchen Restaurants
Free country scramble for active & retired military at participating locations.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store
During Military Family Appreciation Month Cracker Barrel will offer in-store specials on Veterans Day for military veterans and promotions throughout November to support military families in partnership with Operation Homefront. On 11/11, veterans can receive a free slice of Double Fudge Coca-Cola Cake with their meal.

Crooked Pint Ale House
On Nov 11. veterans and active military eat free.

Denny’s
All active, non-active or retired military personnel at all participating Denny’s restaurants nationwide will receive a free Build Your Own Grand Slam breakfast on Wednesday, Nov. 11, from 5 a.m. to noon. Diners must show ID to receive this offer.

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit
Free Pulled Pork Classic Sandwich this Veterans Day. To redeem in-store, veterans and current military personnel must present a military ID or valid proof of service.

Drake’s
Veterans and active duty military will receive a complimentary meal at participating locations.

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

Einstein Bros. Bagels
On 11/11/20 veterans and active-duty military get a free hot or iced medium coffee.

Famous Dave’s
On Nov. 11 in honor of veterans Day all former and current military personnel will receive a free two meat Combo. Dine-in or To-Go.

Farmer Boys
Wednesday, Nov. 11 veterans and active duty military with valid proof of service get a free big cheese cheeseburger.

Firebirds
Complimentary meals to active duty military and veterans on Veterans Day.

Frickers Restaurants
Veterans get 10 free wings (boneless or traditional) on Nov. 11.

Friendly’s Free Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner
Friendly’s is treating veterans and active military, with a valid military ID or honorable discharge card, to a free All-American meal for lunch or dinner, which consists of the All-American Burger, served with a side of fries and a drink. The burger can be upgraded to a cheeseburger for free.

Glory Days Grill
Free appetizer or a regular order of boneless or grilled boneless wings.

Gold Star Chili
Enjoy a free 3-way and drink on Veterans Day. For all who served.

Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants
Participating locations will offer veterans and active duty military a complimentary free entrée from a Veterans Day menu.

Green Mill Restaurant and Bar
Veterans and Active Duty Military will receive a free lunch or dinner dine-in meal at participating locations. Must show proof of service, and beverages and gratuity are not included in free meal.

Hamburger Stand
All veterans and active duty with a valid military ID receive a free hamburger, regular fries, and a small Pepsi.

hopdoddy burger bar
Free Classic Burger with Cheese for veterans on 11/11/20. Redeemable for in-store dining or to-go orders placed by phone.

Hoss’s Family Steak & Sea House
20% off meals on 11/11 for all veterans.

Houlihan’s
Receive a free entrée from a select menu with proof of veteran status or active service in the military.

Huddle House
Huddle House is offering a free MVP Breakfast Platter to all active military members and veterans with proper I.D.

Huey Magoo’s
Treat a veteran or active military member with proper I.D. to a free meal for one when you purchase a meal for one and two beverages on Veterans Day.

Hy-Vee Free Breakfast
Enjoy a free curbside pickup breakfast for veterans and active military members November 11, 2020 from 6 – 10 a.m.

IHOP
All active duty and Veterans are invited to come in and enjoy Free Red, White, & Blue Pancakes on Monday, November 11, from 7 am to 7 pm.

J Christopher’s
Wednesday, November 11th, those who served receive a free meal.

Joe’s Crab Shack
On November 11th, all veterans can enjoy 20% off. Valid for parties up to 4.

Juice It Up!
This Veterans Day all veterans and active military will receive a free  20oz Classic Smoothie.

Kolache Factory
Enjoy one free kolache (any kind) and one cup of freshly brewed Katz coffee (any size). All veteran and active military with government-issued military photo ID or DD 214.

Kwikfill
November 11th veterans receive free coffee at Kwik Fill locations.

Lamar’s Donuts
Free donut and a 12oz coffee for all veterans and active military on Veterans Day.

Little Caesars Pizza
On Wednesday, November 11, from 11am to 2pm, veterans and active military members can receive a free Lunch Combo, which features four slices of Little Caesars popular Detroit-style DEEP!DEEP!™ Dish pizza, paired with a 20-ounce Pepsi product.

Logan’s Roadhouse
On Nov. 11, all active duty and retired U.S. military personnel are invited to enjoy a free meal from the American Roadhouse menu in honor of Veterans Day. This offer is available from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at all Logan’s Roadhouse restaurants nationwide.

Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que
On Veterans Day (Nov. 11), active and former military can enjoy a complimentary dessert, and a 20% discount with proof of service. Veterans receive 20% off the entire month of November for ‘Military Family Month.’

Luna Grill
Luna is offering a “Buy One, Get One Free” deal from Wed., November 11 through Fri., November 13 to any active duty or veteran member of the armed forces at all locations.

Macaroni Grill
This Veterans Day, 11/11, all veterans and active military receive a free Mom’s Ricotta Meatballs + Spaghetti with military ID.

Max & Erma’s
On Veterans Day, participating Max & Erma’s locations are celebrating veterans and active military personnel with a free cheeseburger, endless fries, fountain drink and a chocolate chip cookie.

McCormick & Schmick’s
Veterans of the Military, National Guard, Gold Star Parents and Gold Star Spouses can enjoy a half priced entrée off a select menu on Sunday, November 8, 2020.

Menchie’s Free Frozen Yogurt
On Veterans Day, all Veterans and military personnel with a military ID or proof of service 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.

Mission BBQ
Veterans and active duty will receive a free sandwich on Veterans Day, 11/11/20.

MOD Pizza
Sign to receive a buy-one get-one free MOD-size pizza or salad with military ID by November 8 and MOD will send you a coupon on November 9 to redeem on #VeteransDay.

Mountain Mike’s
Enjoy 15% off any large pizza this Veterans Day. (coupon code: 178130)

Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub
On 11/11 from 11am – 5pm, Veterans and active military can receive a free entrée from a special Veterans Day menu with the purchase of any other entrée. Dine-in only.

O’Charley’s
All active and retired military service members are invited to enjoy a free meal from O’Charley’s. Restaurant participation may vary by location. O’Charley’s also offers military discount of 10 percent off all year long.

Outback Steakhouse Free Bloomin’ Onion® and a beverage
This Veterans Day all military veterans, active servicemen and women can enjoy a free Bloomin’ Onion and Coca-Cola on November 11th.

Perry’s Steakhouses
Free pork chop dinner to U.S. active military and veterans with the purchase of a dinner entree.

Petro Stopping Centers
All active duty military, veterans and reservists with proof of service can enjoy a complimentary meal from a select menu at any participating Country Pride or Iron Skillet restaurant nationwide.

Pie Five Pizza
On Veterans Day get a free personal pizza at participating locations. Dine-in only.

Pilot Flying J/U.S. Pilot
All active-duty and retired military veterans get a free breakfast including a coffee, Monday through Sunday, Nov. 9-15. The offer is available via the app.

Quaker Steak & Lube
All military veteran, active duty and reservist service members receive free or discounted meals  (up to $15) plus a free non-alcoholic beverage at participating locations on 11/11/20.

Rapid Fire Pizza
Veterans and active duty military get a free dessert pizza or Cheezy Bread with purchase of an entree on Veterans Day this Wednesday, November 11th.

Red Lobster
On Wednesday, November 11th 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.

Red Robin
All Veterans and Active Duty Military get a free dine-in Red’s Tavern Double Burger and Bottomless Steak Fries. For 2020, to reduce crowding, this offer is available Nov. 12 – Nov. 30.

Rock & Brews
Rock & Brews is offering all active duty military, veterans, and first responders a free pulled pork sandwich or strawberry fields salad on veterans Day at participating locations nationwide.

Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
All veterans can enjoy a free entrée from a select Veterans Day Menu.

Rodizio Grill
November 9-12, veterans eat free, with purchase of at least one Adult Full Rodizio meal. Must show Proof of Service to receive discount. Dates may vary by location.

Sagebrush Steakhouse
All veteran and active duty personnel receive a complimentary meal from a select menu. Offer valid from 11am-10pm.

Shane’s Rib Shack
Military personnel and Veterans will receive a free sandwich combo meal at participating Shane’s Rib Shack locations. Offer valid November 11th through November 13th.

Shari’s Café
Free slice of pie and buy one get one free entrée for all current and former military on Veterans Day, November 11th. Valid for dine in and take out only.

Shoney’s
Shoney’s says ‘Thank You’ to America’s heroes by offering a free All You Care To Eat breakfast, to all Veterans and Active Duty Military members on 11.11.20 from open – 11 am.

Smokey Bones
Free desserts on Nov. 11 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. for active duty and retired military members.

Snarf’s Sandwiches
All active military & veterans receive a free 7” non-specialty sandwich. This in-store offer is only available 11/11/20.

Sonny’s BBQ
Veterans and active duty military with valid ID will receive a free Pulled or Sliced Pork sandwich plus a voucher for free BBQ Egg Rolls on a future visit.; Dine-in or takeout only.

Starbucks
Active duty service members, reservists, veterans and military spouses are invited to enjoy a free tall (12-ounce) hot brewed coffee.

Sticky Fingers Ribhouse
Wednesday, November 11 Veterans can enjoy a free pull pork sandwich and fries all day.

TA Stopping Centers
All active duty military, veterans and reservists with proof of service can enjoy a complimentary meal from a select menu that includes a beverage on Wed., Nov. 11, 2020, at any participating Country Pride or Iron Skillet restaurant nationwide.

Taco John’s
On Wednesday, Nov. 11, all active, reserve, retired and honorably discharged members of the U.S. military can get a free small Beef #1 Combo Meal who redeem the offer in the Taco John’s App.

Tap House Grill
On Veterans Day, all active, inactive and retired military personnel can get a free meal and a Sam Adams pint while supplies last.

TCBY
First 6oz are free for veterans and active military on 11-11-20.

Texas Roadhouse
is handing out vouchers for a free meal to all Veterans and Active Duty military from 11 am to 2 pm on Veterans Day. Vouchers will be distributed in the parking lots at Texas Roadhouse locations.

Torchy’s Tacos
On Nov. 11, veterans and active military can enjoy a complimentary taco and beverage from a select Veterans Day menu.

Twin Peaks
In honor of veterans Day, all veterans, active duty military and reservists can eat for free from a select menu on Wednesday, November 11th.

Uno’s Pizzeria & Grill
11/11/20 military members (past and present) can enjoy a free entree or individual pizza.

Wendy’s
Wendy’s nationwide are offering a free small breakfast combo with valid military ID. No purchase necessary.

Wienerschnitzel
On Veterans Day, 11/11, Wienerschnitzel is offering a free Chili Dog with a small fry and a small Pepsi to Veterans and Active Duty Servicemembers. Bring your military ID or dress in a uniform.

Yard House
Veterans and active duty military will receive a complimentary appetizer on November 11 with valid military ID. Offer is valid for dine in only.

Ziggi’s Coffee
Veterans get a free 16 oz drink on November 11, 2020 at all Ziggi’s Coffee locations.

Apparel

buybuy BABY — Veterans, active-duty military and spouses get 25% off their entire purchase in-store and online, November 11 to 14.

Columbia Sportswear — Military personnel receive 20% off at all Columbia brand and outlet stores on November 11.

David’s Bridal — Active and retired military members and their immediate families (and fiancés) get an additional 10% off the entire in-store purchase from November 9 through 11. Not valid online.

Rack Room Shoes — Military personnel and their dependents get a 20% discount off the entire purchase on November 11.

Retail Discounts 

Army & Air Force Exchange Service — On November 11, MILITARY STAR card holders will receive various deals, including 10 cents off every gallon of fuel purchased at Exchange Expresses, double rewards points on online and in-store Exchange purchases, $10 off Exchange mall concession or kiosk purchases of $25 or more and 15% off food orders at participating Exchange restaurants. Beyond MILITARY STAR card-exclusive offers, Exchange Expresses and participating restaurants will be serving free coffee on November 11. Exchange Redbox video rental locations will also offer two movies for the price of one November 6 through 13.

Big Lots — In honor of Veterans Day, Big Lots announced they are offering a year-round 10% “Always On” discount for active military personnel and veterans who are members of the company’s Big Rewards program.

Kill Cliff

While Kill Cliff normally offers a 15 percent discount, on Veterans Day they’re extending it to 30 percent off for veterans. Many of their products purchased result in 100% of proceeds donated to specific military charities.  

Target — Active-duty military personnel, veterans and their families get a 10% military discount between November 1 and 11. After eligibility has been verified online, an exclusive, one-time use 10% Target Circle offer will be available to use in-store or online.  

Health and Fitness 

Academy Sports + Outdoors – Military receive 10% off their entire purchase through Nov. 11. This deal is available in stores and online. 

Haircuts

Great Clips – Retired and active service members can receive a free haircut or a card, which is redeemable through Dec. 11, for a free haircut. Nonmilitary customers who get their hair cut on Nov. 11 will also receive a card, redeemable for a free cut, to give to a service member.

Sport Clips – Some locations will offer free haircuts to veterans and active-duty service members and will donate $1 for every haircut provided that day to the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ Help a Hero Scholarship fund.

Tech 

Office Depot/OfficeMax – Veterans, active-duty military, retirees, reservists and their dependents get 25% off eligible purchases in stores when they present valid military ID or military dependent ID. This offer runs Nov. 11 to Nov. 13. Some items are excluded, including gift cards, appliances, certain consumer electronics, certain brands and other restricted items.

Samsung – From Nov. 6 to Nov. 11, active-duty military members and veterans can register on Samsung’s site for special deals, including an extra 10% off smartphones, tablets, wearables, mobile accessories and PCs. 

Staples – Active-duty military personnel, reservists, retired or disabled veterans and their immediate families get a 25% discount November 8 through 14.

Mattresses 

Mattress Firm – From November 11 through 17, veterans and active-duty military members can take advantage of Mattress Firm’s Black Friday Sale and receive an additional 10% off their entire purchase, for total savings up to 60% off.

Sleep Number – Military members can verify their identity on Sleep Number’s site to get a promo code they can use for an extra $100 off smart beds and adjustable bases through Nov. 16.

Home Improvement

Home Depot — Home Depot offers a 10% discount to all veterans on November 11. Home Depot offers a 10% discount year round to active duty and retirees.

Grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations

Pilot/Flying J  – From Nov. 9 to Nov. 15, Pilot and Flying J locations will offer veterans a free coffee (any size) and one free breakfast item. Redeem this offer through the Pilot Flying J app.

Publix – Veterans, active military members and their families can get 10% off groceries on Nov. 11. Some items are excluded, including tobacco, gift cards, alcohol and lottery tickets. You must present a valid military ID to get this offer.

Walgreens — Veterans, military and their families get a 20% discount on eligible regular priced items, November 11 through 15. This in-store offer is only valid in Walgreens or Duane Reade stores.

Travel and Recreation Discounts

9/11 Memorial and Museum — Veterans will receive free Museum admission as well as half-price tickets for three family members from November 7 to 18.

Akron Zoo — Veterans, past and current, receive free admission and immediate family members receive 50% off admission November 7 through 11 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Aquarium of the Pacific — Veterans and military personnel get free admission on November 11.

Arizona State Parks — Admission is free for veterans and active-duty military on November 11.

Army Corp of Engineers Recreation Areas — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will waive day use fees at its recreation areas nationwide November 11.

B&Bs for Vets — The innkeepers participating in the 2020 B&Bs for Vets program will offer a minimum of one room for one night and totally free. Most innkeepers will give their free rooms away on November 10, but offers vary.

Birmingham Zoo — Veterans, active and retired military and their dependents receive free admission from November 11 until 15.

Caesars Entertainment — Veterans and active-duty military who book future travel on Caesars.com from November 4 to 15 get up to 40% off.

Capital Wheel — On November 11, active and retired service members ride free. Accompanying family members are eligible for the military discount. Onsite only.

Cincinnati Zoo — All members of the military will receive free admission on November 11. The offer also allows military personnel to purchase up to six half-price admission tickets for members of their immediate family.

Colonial Williamsburg — Military families can receive a free admission ticket during Veterans Day weekend.

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium — Military personnel, both past and present, and their immediate family get free admission on November 11 with military ID or proof of service.

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum — On November 11, active-duty and retired armed services members get free admission (including up to three immediate family members), and a 10% discount at Circa: The Museum Store and the Hatch Show Print retail store. Advanced reservations are highly recommended.

Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) — Veterans and military personnel get free rides on November 11.

FantasyWorld Resort — Active-duty service members and veterans receive the Patriots Salute Package, which includes discounts on stays from November 1 through 30 (with a two-night minimum).

Hagley Museum and Library — Current military members, veterans, and their families get free admission on November 11. 

Harley-Davidson Museum — Active military, veterans and their families get free admission on November 11 and 12.

Jefferson Lines — Veterans and active military members get free tickets anytime between November 1 through 11. Free tickets are available for travel departing on November 11 through November 26 for both one-way and round-trip tickets. Veterans and active military members are welcome to return on a different date for round-trip tickets anytime through December 31.

La Quinta by Wyndham — Eligible military members get 12% off the Best Available Rate at participating La Quinta by Wyndham hotels. Plus, Wyndham Rewards members receive 500 bonus points for qualified stays booked by December 7 and completed by December 8, 2020.

Montgomery Zoo — Veterans, active-duty military personnel, and their dependent family members receive a 50% discount on regular daytime admission to the Montgomery Zoo and Mann Wildlife Learning Museum November 8 through 14.

Monticello — Veterans get complimentary admission November 11. Admission is for the Monticello Self-Guided Pass.

Montpelier — Veterans get a free “Highlights of Montpelier” tour and Museum Shop discount, November 7 and 8.

Mount Vernon — All active-duty, former, or retired military personnel are admitted for free on November 11.

Museum of East Tennessee History — Veterans, active-duty military, and their families get free admission on November 11 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

National Parks — On November 11, veterans will have access to over 100 National Parks that require entrance fees for free.

National WWI Museum and Memorial — Admission is free for veterans and active-duty military personnel November 7 through 15.

Pro Football Hall of Fame — Veterans and active military plus a guest get free museum admission and parking from November 1 through 15. A 20% off discount in the HOF Store will also be offered in November.

San Antonio Zoo — Active-duty, retired, veteran members of the military, National Guard and Reserves get free admission throughout November. Plus, up to four immediate family members can receive 50% off single day tickets on date of visit.

Sanderling Resort — Current and former military receive discounted rates of $129 per night from November 11, 2020 through March 19, 2021 with an additional 20% off all food, spa and retail.

Sedgwick County Zoo — All military personnel, veterans and their immediate families get complimentary admission on November 11.

Super 8 by Wyndham — Active and retired military members, veterans and their families can enjoy 15% off the Best Available Rate at participating Super 8 by Wyndham hotels. Plus, Wyndham Rewards members receive 500 bonus points for qualified stays booked by December 7 and completed by December 8, 2020.

True REST Float Spa — Veterans and active-duty military get a free 60-minute float on the 11th of every month, including November 11. For Veterans Day, True REST is also providing appointments to veterans only on November 11.

Woodland Park Zoo — Active, retired, and veteran military personnel and their spouses get free admission on November 11.

World of Coca-Cola — Active duty, reserves and retirees get free admission year-round, and from November 2 to 12 members of the Armed Forces may purchase up to four general admission tickets at half-price for their friends and family. Tickets must be purchased online.

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts — Active and retired military members, veterans, and their families save up to 15%, plus receive 500 Wyndham Rewards bonus points for qualified stays booked by December 7 and completed by December 8, 2020.

Zoo Atlanta — Veterans, active-duty, retired and reserve members get free admission and $4 off general admission for up to six accompanying guests on November 11.

Automotive 

Delta Sonic Car Wash — Veterans and active-duty military save $25 on any oil change service throughout November.

Enterprise Car Sales — Active-duty military members, veterans and their dependents who purchase a used vehicle from Enterprise Car Sales are eligible to receive $300 off their vehicle purchase, November 1 through 30.

GM — GM offers special savings for the military November 3 through 30. Grace for Vets — Car washes from around the world who join this program offer free car washes to veterans and service members on November 11.

Veterans

Service over self: A veteran trailblazer paves the way

On August 23, 1977, Sergeant Shirley was performing his military duties as instructed and required when the unthinkable happened. An explosive device detonated prematurely, blowing up in his hands. Jensen was severely injured, losing both forearms, a lung, vision in one eye, and multiple other internal and external injuries. He was 21 years old.

When he awoke after the injury, only one thing was on his mind. Service. 

For as long as he can remember, Jensen Shirley has understood the importance of serving. The son of a military veteran and nephew to five other WWII service members, Jensen had the future mapped out in his eyes before the tassel on his high school graduation cap was moved from right to left. He was joining the Army.

The year was 1973 and the United States was still two years out from ending its long and bitter war with Vietnam. 

“When I was in high school,” Jensen said, “I told my father I was joining the military and he said, ‘By the time you graduate, you’ll still end up going to Vietnam.’ And he asked me what I thought about that. I told him, ‘No one wants to go, but you all served and sacrificed, and now is our time to serve and sacrifice.’”

“It’s not a question of being right or wrong on the war question, or whether we should or shouldn’t have been there — we were already there. We were asked to serve, we were asked to go, and that was it.”

For Jensen, service was in his blood. 

After Basic Training and Advanced Infantry Training (AIT), Jensen attended the Jungle Operations Training Center and successfully passed jungle school, a highly specialized, rigorous, infantry survival course. Jensen was operationally deployed to Panama where he continued his journey as an infantryman and soldier. 

When his overseas deployment was complete, Sergeant Shirley was assigned to Ft. Jackson, SC as a Combat Weapons Instructor on Bastogne Range. 

Here, service and sacrifice would take on new meaning for the young soldier. His catastrophic injury would change the course of his life forever.

For Jensen, it wasn’t enough that he had survived an injury many others had not. Jensen had to find a way to heal, to rehabilitate, and to get back to work. He was Sergeant Jensen Shirley.

This was his calling, his life’s work…the future had been mapped out in his mind since the day he graduated from high school. Only, what was that future now?

“I couldn’t even sign the form I didn’t want to be signing.” 

Here is a soldier with a deep-rooted commitment to serve who has suffered an unimaginable loss – of his hands and of his physical body, yes – but also of his sense of self. And he stands in front of the Physical Evaluation Board, forever changed, yet pleading for a chance to stay in the military. There’s just nothing they can do; his injuries are too severe. His military career was over.

But Sergeant Shirley – Jensen – did not allow his journey to end in that boardroom. You know by now that he doesn’t back down easily. 

So, if a military career was truly out of the question, Jensen was looking at the next best thing: serving veterans as a clinical counselor. Jensen was going to college.

There was just one small problem. With no hands and no full-time support, how was he supposed to write a paper or complete an exam? Remember, this is the 1970s. There were no resources, no systems, and no processes to help him navigate through this new journey. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) wasn’t even signed into law until almost 15 years later, and that left Jensen alone to figure out his own path forward. 

Enter Carol Keller.

Carol Keller helped Jensen transition into his new life, one that he never anticipated would be his, but one that he would make extraordinary. 

“Because of her help in getting over that first hurdle, I started believing that I could do it. If somebody could just help me, if they could just open the door and let me in, I would do the rest,” he said.

So, just as he set out to do, Jensen graduated from American University. Then he graduated with a master’s degree from The George Washington University. Then he earned a second master’s from the University of San Francisco, a doctorate of education from the University of San Diego, and a CACREP-accreditation from Walden University. Not bad for someone with injuries deemed “too severe.”

From Sergeant Shirley…

…To Dr. Jensen Shirley.

Thanks to some mutual friends, Jensen was eventually connected with William Rider. Bill served in Vietnam, experiencing unimaginable trauma. He later formed an organization called American Combat Veterans of War, or ACVOW, to help veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress, sexual assault, or those serving jail time. 

The two were fast friends. Jensen and Bill spend time each week at the North County Vista jail, providing support and counseling to incarcerated veterans. After one such training session, Bill asked Jensen if he had ever heard of Chive Charities.

“Bill smiled, knowing that I had a heart for serving veterans and volunteering my time, talent and service to giving back,” Jensen told us. “And Bill said, ‘I want to talk with you not just about an organization, but about people like yourself who want to make a difference.’”

Making a difference in the lives of others is what it’s all about. And now, the one who always gives is finally receiving. Chive Charities was proud to serve Dr. Shirley in his time of need.

His request of Chive Charities was simple: he needed new kitchen appliances that he could operate with his prosthetics and a 4×4 golf cart with enough power to get to the end of his long and sloped driveway and back up again. 

Thanks to Chive Charities and their community of committed donors, they were able to fund a grant for Jensen with an impact of $17,691. 

Chive Charities asked Jensen what this support means to him, and as always, his words are powerful. We’ll let him take it from here:

“The Chive Charities’ grant has impacted me in a way that is so humbling. First, it lets me know I am not alone. Although many years have passed since my incident, I am still pressing on serving others, one person at a time.”

“Second, life is not about what or why things happen to you; life is about what you do for others when things like this happen. My call has been to serve God, country and others. Now, my call is to serve until the service is done. Thank you, Chive Charities, from the bottom of my heart.”

Serve until the service is done. For rare medical, first responders, or veterans like Jensen, that’s a calling Chive Charities can get behind. Can you? DONATE HERE

Chive Charities is committed to supporting the veteran community. Like We Are the Mighty, serving those who serve is core to who they are. If you or someone you know could benefit from one of Chive Charities’ life-changing grants, CLICK HERE to learn more + apply.

MIGHTY MOVIES

10 awesome celebrities who served in the military

There are many famous people who served in the United States Military. Some were drafted, some had the choice between jail or service, and some felt the call and volunteered.

From World War II to 9/11 and beyond, these celebrities served their country before they became famous — except for Elvis. Elvis was always a star.

Note: There are some celebrities who are already well known for their military service (like everyone’s favorite Gunny, R. Lee Ermey). You won’t see them on this list, since our goal was to point out celebrities whose military service isn’t as well known.


In no particular order, these are ten awesome celebrities who served in the U.S. Armed Forces:

Rob Riggle Is Golfing For Veterans

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1. Rob Riggle, United States Marine Corps

Rob Riggle served in the United States Marine Corps for over 20 years. After graduating from the University of Kansas, he went through Officer Candidate School. Though he originally had the intention of becoming a pilot, he realized that he wanted to pursue comedy, so he became a Public Affairs Officer instead. After his Active Duty service commitment was complete, he transitioned into the reserves, where he served for 14 more while doing comedy and acting full time.

Riggle served in Liberia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan during his time in service. Now retired, he continues to help the veteran community through initiatives like his Rob Riggle InVETational Golf Classic, a veteran-celebrity golf tournament that raises money and awareness for veteran non-profits, like Semper Fi Fund, an organization that assists service members and their families.

The ultimate, big bad list of 2020 Veterans Day discounts and freebies

Jackie Robinson playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

(Photo by Bob Sandberg)

2. Jackie Robinson, United States Army

Jackie Robinson was drafted to the United States Army in 1942, where he was assigned to a segregated Army cavalry unit before applying to Officer Candidate School. His application was delayed due to the color of his skin, but, after protests by heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis, he was accepted. He commissioned as a second lieutenant in January, 1943.

In August, 1944, he faced court-martial for refusing to give up his seat on a bus near Camp Hood, Texas, a segregated location known for its racism.

On July 6, 1944, Robinson took a seat on a civilian bus next to a white woman on Camp Hood and the driver ordered him to move to the back of the bus. Robinson refused and the military police were called to arrest him. Angry from the way he was treated and frustrated at the rampant discrimination on the post, Robinson refused to wait for the MPs in the provost marshal’s office and was escorted to the hospital under guard and under protest.

He was charged with two accounts of insubordination. His defense would win out, however, and Robinson was freed. He medically retired from service due to a bone chip in his ankle and went on to become the first African American to play Major League Baseball.

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It looks like a mug shot, but that’s an OG CAC picture on the left.

3. Bea Arthur, United States Marine Corps

The late Bea Arthur served as a truck driver in the U.S. Marine Corps. She enlisted into the Women’s Reservists during World War II at the age of 21 under her maiden name, Bernice Frankel. A handwritten letter of hers states,

I was supposed to start work yesterday, but heard last week that enlistments for women in the Marines were open, so decided the only thing to do was join.

She was stationed at U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina. She was honorably discharged after the war at the rank of Staff Sergeant. She would marry a fellow Marine, Private Robert Aurthur, and go on to have a successful career in the arts.

Any fan of Arthur’s incisive Dorothy on Golden Girls won’t be surprised to hear that Arthur’s enlistment interviewer described her as “argumentative” and “officious — but probably a good worker — if she has her own way!”

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4. Bob Ross, United States Air Force

Robert Norman Ross, better known as the friendly painter Bob Ross, enlisted in the Air Force at age 18 and went on to serve for 20 years. While stationed at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska, Florida-native Ross saw snow and mountains for the first time, which would influence his serene landscape choices as he began his prolific painting career.

It might be surprising to know that while in the Air Force, Ross became a Drill Instructor.

I was the guy who makes you scrub the latrine, the guy who makes you make your bed, the guy who screams at you for being late to work. The job requires you to be a mean, tough person. And I was fed up with it. I promised myself that if I ever got away from it, it wasn’t going to be that way anymore.

True to his word, he developed The Joy of Painting, his famous program where he taught others to paint with an uplifting and soft-spoken demeanor that has become famous around the world.

The ultimate, big bad list of 2020 Veterans Day discounts and freebies

Semper Fi,​

5. Adam Driver, U.S. Marine Corps

Adam Driver, perhaps best known for his portrayal of Kylo Ren in the Star Wars franchise, enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and became an infantry mortarman after the 9/11 attacks. He was stationed at Camp Pendleton with 81s (eighty-ones) Platoon, Weapons Co. 1st Battalion 1st Marines and was training for his first deployment when he sustained an injury that would result in a medical discharge.

After his service, Driver founded a non-profit organization called Arts in the Armed Forces, which brings high-quality arts programming to active duty service members, veterans, military support staff, and their families around the world free of charge with the intention of bridging the divide between civilians and the military.

Of his military career, Driver once said, “In the military, you learn the essence of people. You see so many examples of self-sacrifice and moral courage. In the rest of life you don’t get that many opportunities to be sure of your friends.”

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Montel Williams at the premiere of ‘War, Inc.’

(Photo by David Shankbone)

6. Montel Williams, United States Marine Corps and United States Navy

Talk show host Montel Williams enlisted in the United States Marines Corps after high school and completed basic training at Parris Island, South Carolina, before going to the Desert Warfare Training Center at Twentynine Palms, California. After impressing his superiors with his leadership skills, he was recommended for the Naval Academy Preparatory School at Newport, Rhode Island. He was then accepted into the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis.

Upon graduation, he became a cryptologic officer for the United States Navy. He served in Guam before transferring to the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, where he studied Russian for a year before putting his linguistic skills to use for the National Security Agency. He served aboard submarines for three years before he decided to separate from the military and pursue public and motivational speaking full time.

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Elvis Presley inventing ‘Blue Steel’ during his military service in Germany.

7. Elvis Presley, United States Army

After one deferment to complete the film King Creole, Elvis Aron Presley reported for U.S. Army basic training at Fort Hood on March 24, 1958, where he was assigned to the Second Armored Division’s ‘Hell on Wheels’ unit. His induction was a major event that attracted fans and media attention.

After basic, Presley sailed to Europe aboard the USS General Randall to serve with the 3rd Armored Division in Friedberg, Germany. By March, 1960, Sergeant Presley finished his military commitment and received an honorable discharge from active duty.

Reflecting on his service, Presley once told Armed Forces Radio and Television that he was determined to go to any limits to prove himself — and he did, though his career as an artist was never too far from reach. Shortly after returning to the United States, he shot the film G-I Blues, a musical comedy where Presley played a tank crewman with a singing career.

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8. Jimi Hendrix, United States Army

Jimi Hendrix, one of rock’s greatest guitar players, served a brief, thirteen-month stint with the famed U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division — nicknamed the “Screaming Eagles” — just a few years before his epic rise to rockstardom in the late 60s. Hendrix wanted to enlist as a musician but had no formal music training, so he opted for the 101st Airborne Division.

Months after joining the Screaming Eagles, life as a paratrooper began to wear on Hendrix’s morale. He was constantly reprimanded for dereliction of duties.

Jimi just wanted to play his guitar. His days as a paratrooper came to an end on his 26th jump when he broke his ankle.

Hendrix began exploring the Fort Campbell area nightlife before venturing down to nearby Nashville where he began jamming with local bluesmen. It was in that vibrant music scene that he met fellow service member and bassist Billy Cox. In September, 1963, after Cox was discharged from the Army, Hendrix and Cox formed a band called the King Kasuals, but it was later in New York City where Hendrix would catch the break that would help him become the rockstar he’s remembered as today.

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9. Kurt Vonnegut,  United States Army

Kurt Vonnegut enlisted in the United States Army during World War II. In 1944, then-Private First Class Kurt Vonnegut was captured by the Nazis during the Battle of the Bulge. He, along with boxcars full of fellow POWs, were taken to the German city of Dresden and forced to work – until the city was firebombed by the Allies. Vonnegut and a few others survived the devastation, in what looked like a different, horrifying new world.

Slaughterhouse Five is named after the underground bunker in which he waited out the bombing. The book is the story of a man who became “unstuck in time,” floating back to the past at seemingly random times. It has become one of the most famous PTSD flashback stories and one of the most banned books of all-time.

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10. Kris Kristofferson, U.S. Army

Before he was a recording artist, Kris Kristofferson, under pressure from his family and following in the footsteps of his Air Force General father before him, joined the U.S. Army.

Kristofferson trained as a Ranger and a helicopter pilot, eventually reaching the rank of Captain while stationed in Germany. But then he received orders to West Point to teach English.

He chose to separate from the Army to pursue a music career instead, but served in the Tennessee National Guard when he needed to make ends meet. It was during that time when he infamously stole a helicopter and landed it on Johnny Cash’s lawn, a bold move that would pay off when Cash, a fellow veteran, recorded Kristofferson’s song and began an epic musical friendship.

In 2003, he was presented with the “Veteran of the Year” Award at the 8th Annual American Veterans Awards.

Articles

This is the Air Force vet who forced KSM to reveal his darkest secrets

James Mitchell had a successful 22-year career in the U.S. Air Force — most notably as a top trainer at the Air Force’s survival school — before retiring as a lieutenant colonel.


And while he earned some awards and accolades for his service as a SERE leader, it was what he did as a contractor for the CIA after his retirement that truly marks his career.

See, Mitchell is the man who broke al Qaeda mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (often called “KSM”) and other high-ranking members of the terrorist group in the months and years after 9/11.

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Photo provided by Crown Publishing

After the release of his new book about the interrogation program titled “Enhanced Interrogation: Inside the Minds and Motives of the Islamic Terrorists Trying To Destroy America,” Mitchell sat down for an interview with Marc Theissen, a Washington Post columnist and a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

During the 90-minute discussion, Mitchell both clarified details about the controversial “enhanced interrogation techniques” he used and provided insights into the minds of the terrorists.

 

First, Mitchell explained the difference between interrogation and what he describes as “how do you do” visits.

“These enhanced interrogations that I was part of really only dealt with about 14 of the top folks. I didn’t have anything to do with the mid-level or low-level folks at all,” Mitchell, who’s a licensed psychologist, said. “And most of these interrogations took place over a period of time of about two weeks. KSM’s took about three weeks. And then after that, there was no enhanced interrogations for KSM — you know, none at all.”

He later added, “[O]ur goal in doing enhanced interrogations was to get them to make some movement, to be willing to engage in the questions instead of rocking and chanting and doing the other sorts of things that they had previously been doing.”

Once they broke, it was all about “cigarettes and beer,” to borrow a quote from Defense Secretary nominee James Mattis.

“We switched to social influence stuff because we know that the real way that you get the cooperation that you want is not by trying to coerce it out of them,” Mitchell said. “It’s by getting them to provide the information in a way that they don’t feel particularly pressured to do it.”

Mitchell made it clear that after the terrorists broke, the nature of his visits were more along the lines of maintenance. During one of those visits, he described how the mastermind of 9/11 revealed that he had personally beheaded Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

“He describes cutting his head off and dismembering him and burying him in a hole. And [we] asked him, was that difficult for you to do, thinking emotionally this had to be hard to do,” Mitchell said. “And he said, ‘Oh, no. I had sharp knives. The toughest part was getting through the neck bone’ — just like that.”

Mitchell also described KSM’s shock at George W. Bush’s response to the 9/11 attacks, revealing that the terror leader thought the U.S. would treat the attack as a law enforcement problem and not go to war over it.

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Photo of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed taken after his capture by American personnel. (Photo by DOD)

“And then he looks down and he goes, ‘How was I to know that cowboy George Bush would say he wanted us dead or alive and invade Afghanistan to get us?’ And he said it just about like that, like he was befuddled, like he couldn’t imagine it,” Mitchell said.

And Mitchell firmly denies that his EITs were torture.

“If it was torture, they wouldn’t have to pass a law in 2015 outlawing it because torture is already illegal, right?” Mitchell said. “The highest Justice Department in the land wouldn’t have opined five times that it wasn’t torture — one time after I personally waterboarded an assistant attorney general before he made that decision three or four days later, right?”

Mitchell’s book, “Enhanced Interrogation: Inside the Minds and Motives of the Islamic Terrorists Trying To Destroy America,” is published by Crown Forum and is available at Amazon.com.

Articles

Mattis boosts troops’ morale with impromptu epic speech

Recently, a video of Secretary of Defense James Mattis surfaced as the retired, decorated Marine met with a group of deployed service members. As the former general started to speak, a school circle quickly formed around him as his words began to motivate those who listened.


Mattis is widely-known for his impeccable military service and leadership skills, earning him the respect by both enlisted personnel and officers.

Related: This is proof that Mattis knows exactly how to talk to the troops

Mattis broke the ice with the deployed service members by humorously introducing himself and thanking them in his special way — an epic impromptu speech.

“Just hold the line until our country gets back to understanding and respecting each other and showing it of being friendly to one another, you know, that Americans owe to one other,” Mattis said. “We’re so doggone lucky to be Americans.”

Also Read: This is what happens when the ‘Mother of Dragons’ channels Mad Dog Mattis

Check out this cell phone video below to hear Mattis’ words that improved the spirit of these deployed service members.


(h/t to U.S. Army W.T.F! moments)

MIGHTY TRENDING

The mission to accelerate veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs

Want your veteran owned business to succeed—fast?


Check out Patriot Boot Camp with their next event in San Antonio, Texas, Feb. 16-18, 2018.

The program welcomes 50 veteran and mil-spouse entrepreneurs from around the country—and offers an intense 3 day education, mentoring, and networking experience designed to help their businesses succeed.

Patriot Boot Camp (PBC) was started by Taylor McLemore as a volunteer effort to help veterans and mil-spouses gain access to mentors, educational programming, and a robust community of experts and peers. It was built to help them innovate and build impactful technology businesses.

Also read: Officers and enlistees confess the best and worst about each other

Charlotte Creech, a veteran spouse, and the CEO of Patriot Boot Camp, discusses the impact of the program for entrepreneurs.

“I am continually impressed by the determination and mission-focus of the entrepreneurs that come through Patriot Boot Camp, as well as the magnitude of the problems they aim to solve.”

Creech adds that most veteran and military spouse founders don’t merely set out to build a business; rather, they work to make the world a better place and it’s inspiring to hear the stories of what motivates them to succeed and to follow their progress along the entrepreneurial journey.

“What makes the program so powerful, is when we combine these talented, mission-driven entrepreneurs with a community of peers and mentors that are dedicated to helping them achieve their business milestones and goals. By the end of the event, we all leave with new insights and new network contacts that will help us advance and overcome the challenges of startup life.”

The core, three-day program is modeled after the popular Techstars accelerator and continues to leverage the Techstars network to empower and advance military/veteran and spouse founders.

Since its first program in 2012, nine Patriot Boot Camp alumni have been accepted into the Techstars accelerator programs, with many others gaining acceptance to prominent accelerators including Y Combinator and Vet-Tech.

Related: This is how drunken shenanigans influence pilot callsigns

Four of PBC’s alumni have appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank television show, and five have had successful exits via acquisition.

Creech adds: “It’s inspiring to see these alumni achieve great business outcomes, but what’s really powerful about the PBC program and network is that our high-performing alumni continue to come back to PBC as mentors and guest speakers to share their lessons learned and coach new entrepreneurs to success.”

The boot camp works as follows:

The Patriot Boot Camp staff facilitate the planning and execution of the program where they organize external guest speakers and mentors to provide the educational content and workshops.

Each PBC program is entirely unique because the speakers vary in each 3 day intensive. Entrepreneurs are encouraged to attend multiple programs to continue learning as the needs of their business change over time.

If you’re interested in learning more or applying for this year’s Patriot Boot Camp, visit http://patriotbootcamp.org.

Articles

This pharmacy has a deep military tradition

Charles R. Walgreen, Sr. was more than an innovator and business owner — he was also a veteran.


The son of Swedish immigrants, Walgreen interrupted his budding pharmacy career to enlist with the Illinois National Guard and fight in the Spanish-American War in Cuba in 1898. His primary assignment was working in a hospital dispensary, which exposed him to yellow fever, complicated by malaria, a combination that was nearly fatal to him.

In time he recovered, returned to civilian life, and spent the following years working in various Chicago drugstores, sometimes for short periods at each. Thus he gained knowledge of the practice of pharmacy and experience with business techniques that distinguished the successful drugstore from the less so.  He learned a lot about the art and value of good customer service. Before long he wanted to be his own boss and, in 1901, bought the pharmacy he worked at in Chicago. Walgreens, the company, was born.

In its first few years, Walgreens became known for its “two-minute stunt.”  Customers who were in the immediate vicinity of the drugstore would call to order non-prescription items, and Walgreen would slowly repeat the order and delivery address back to the customer, loud enough for an assistant to take down the details. Walgreen would then chat up the customer long enough for the assistant to make the trip to the delivery address. Sometimes, with Walgreen still on the phone, the customer would excuse him or herself from the phone to answer the door, and return in amazement at how quickly the order had arrived. It was a feat of sufficient theatricality that it earned good word-of-mouth advertising.

Eight years after the first Walgreens opened its doors, the second location in Chicago opened.

By 1916, there were nine stores and by the time of the company’s 25th anniversary of service, 92 stores were operating in the Chicago area alone, many featuring soda fountains.

During World War II, more than 2,500 Walgreens employees served in the military, 20 percent of its workforce.  Forty-eight did not survive the war.

In 1943, Walgreens supported the war effort by opening a nonprofit, 6,000-square-foot store inside the Pentagon. Elsewhere, stores around the country sold $41 million in war bonds and stamps.

Walgreens continued to grow with the post war boom, and by 1975, hit $1 billion in sales. By 1984 Walgreens opened its 1,000th store.

Over the decades, the community and civic engagement for which Charles Walgreen was known evolved with the company to become a corporate-wide commitment to social responsibility. In addition to supporting numerous philanthropic causes, Walgreens has shown innovations in environmental sustainability, mirrored the diversity of America through its employment and vendor policies, and earned an international reputation as a model employer of people with disabilities.

From its humble early aspirations to make a name in Chicago, to its current aspiration to be America’s most-loved pharmacy-led health, wellbeing and beauty retailer, Walgreens in 2016 boasts a total of over 8,100 stores in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U. S. Virgin Islands.

After 115 years of service to the country, Walgreens is honored to also serve those in the military who have defended our country.

As part of the Express Scripts network of pharmacy providers, Walgreens stands ready to give Tricare members the excellent service for which it is famous. With over 8,000 in-network pharmacies from which to choose, Walgreens is well-positioned to champion every Tricare members’ right to be happy and healthy.

 

MIGHTY MOVIES

Montel Williams seeks veterans for home makeovers

Saying thank you for your service is not enough, according to veteran and talk show icon Montel Williams. But he does have a few ideas on other ways to show gratitude for military service.

He’s teamed up with WWE to find the next veteran for a home makeover that will be featured on Lifetime TV’s “Military Makeover with Montel.”


“We take these veterans and we literally make their home over from top to bottom,” Williams said during a phone interview. “We do, not just a facelift, but everything, from the floors, the ceilings to you name it, to make sure the veteran has what we call a forever home once we get done.”

Since 2015 the show has worked with one veteran family per quarter to makeover their home within 10 days, with 20 homes completed to date. Most episodes, Williams said, have featured families who have been in the midst of transitioning from military to civilian life. A few have featured veterans who have already left the military, but Williams adds any deserving veteran family will be considered as long as they own their own home.

He’s personally been involved in making over six homes, having taken over the show after the death of Military Makeover’s previous host Lee Ermey.

Williams said the reactions on the show have been great, not just from the service members, but from everyone in the community. The show uses volunteers and donations from local vendors to renovate the homes.

“Everybody is uplifted,” Williams said.

Hosting a home makeover show is also a good way to show appreciation for a group Williams describes as underappreciated.

“I think it’s a really good way to do more than say ‘thank you for your service,'” Williams said.

Williams is a 22-year veteran who served in the Marine Corps and Navy before starting his television career. Like many veterans, he’s come to see the phrase ‘thank you for your service’ as hollow and meaningless.

“I’ve been saying this for over a year. When people say ‘thank you for your service’ it’s lip service or a passing phrase, like you say ‘good morning’ to people when you walk by and don’t even wait for a person’s response,” he said.

In addition to his own service, Williams is a longtime veterans’ advocate. He serves on the board of directors for the Fisher House — a charity providing lodging near DOD and VA facilities for the families of those receiving care. He also works with an organization that help veterans suffering from traumatic brain injury and has an upcoming project designed for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.

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Williams launched a new national campaign to makeover the home of a veteran. (Photo courtesy of Military Families Magazine.)

Williams said he believes the current coronavirus pandemic has put showing genuine gratitude to veterans even further from the forefront of people’s minds.

“Right now, while we’re suffering through this COVID-19 pandemic, every day of the week people applaud our first responders. When they think about people on the frontline, they think about doctors, nurses and first responders to this virus here on U.S. soil,” Williams said. “We have ships and submarines and aircraft carriers and airplanes and deployed forward bases where people don’t have the same luxury of being able to social distance. These guys are out there every single day putting their lives on the line for us.”

While not everyone has the resources of a television legend, Williams insists there are things average people can do to show their appreciation to veterans.

“You don’t have to makeover a veteran’s home to contribute to a veteran’s life,” Williams said. He said providing meals, volunteering to babysit or mowing an injured veteran’s lawn are great ways for people to show their appreciation.

“Why not go out and do a gesture, not just of being a good neighbor, but deliberately doing something to help out our veterans?” Williams asked. “Remember that there’s a military family on every block in every community across this country. Reach out and do a little bit more than just say ‘thank you for your service.'”

Another way people can show appreciation is by going to Tag A Hero and nominating a veteran for a home makeover before May 31.

Williams has joined forces with WWE star Lacey Evans, a Marine veteran, to gain awareness for the new national campaign, but they are in need of more nominations.

“Lacey Evans, who is one of their stars, has become one of our team members on Military Makeover. She convinced [WWE] to reach out to their viewers to nominate veterans in their community,” Williams said.

The application submission deadline for the latest campaign is May 31st. On July 13, Montel Williams and WWE Superstar Lacey Evans will appear on Facebook and Instagram announcing the home makeover recipient.

This article originally appeared on Military Families Magazine. Follow @MilFamiliesMag on Twitter.

MIGHTY TRENDING

How Team Rubicon does more than rebuild disaster areas

Susan Ward had only served five weeks in the military when she was medically discharged after an injury — but that didn’t change the fact that she wanted a life in service.

“From that moment when I got out, I was devastated,” she tells NationSwell. “That was my life goal and plan. I didn’t know what to do. I love helping and serving people, doing what I can for people.”

That feeling isn’t uncommon for thousands of military veterans who have a hard time transitioning to civilian life. Though unemployment among veterans who have served since 2001 has gone down, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics counted 370,000 veterans who were still unemployed in 2018.


Numerous transition programs exist to help vets bridge that gap, but for Ward, finding a gig — or even volunteer work — that was service-oriented was necessary for her happiness. She eventually became a firefighter in Alaska, but after 10 years a different injury forced Ward to leave yet another job she loved. She fell into a deep depression, she says, and struggled to find another role that allowed her to fulfill her passion for public service.

“I was on Facebook one day and just saw this post about Team Rubicon, and I had this moment of, ‘Oh my gosh, I need to do this,'” she says.

Team Rubicon began as a volunteer mission in 2010 after the earthquake that devastated Haiti. The organization offered disaster relief by utilizing the help of former service workers from the military and civilian sectors.

The ultimate, big bad list of 2020 Veterans Day discounts and freebies
First Team Rubicon operation in Haiti
(Team Rubicon photo)

It has since evolved into an organization fueled by 80,000 volunteers. The majority are veterans who assist with everything from clearing trees and debris in tornado-ravaged towns to gutting homes that have been destroyed by floods. The teams, which are deployed as units, also work alongside other disaster-relief organizations, such as the Red Cross.

Similar to Ward, Tyler Bradley, a Clay Hunt fellow for Team Rubicon who organizes and develops volunteers, battled depression after he had to leave the Army due to a genetic health problem.

“After I found [Team Rubicon], I was out doing lots of volunteer work. My girlfriend noticed and said she would see the old Tyler come back,” Bradley says. “Team Rubicon turned my life around.”

“There’s one guy who says that just because the uniform comes off doesn’t mean service ends,” says Zachary Brooks-Miller, director of field operations for Team Rubicon. He adds that the narrative around the value of veterans has to change. “We don’t take the approach that our vets are broken; we see vets as a strength within our community.”

In addition to Team Rubicon’s disaster-relief efforts, the organization also helps to empower veterans and ease their transition into the civilian world, according to Christopher Perkins, managing director at Citi and a member of the company’s Citi Salutes Affinity Steering Committee. By collaborating with Citi, Team Rubicon was able to scale up its contributions, allowing service workers to provide widespread relief last year in Houston after Hurricane Harvey. Those efforts were five times larger than anything the organization had previously done and brought even more veterans into the Team Rubicon family.

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Team Rubicon cleanup

“Being around my brothers and sisters in arms whom I missed so much, it was so clear to me the impact Team Rubicon would have not only in communities impacted by disaster, but also among veterans,” says Perkins, a former captain in the Marines. “Every single American should know about this organization.”

Although Team Rubicon doesn’t brand itself as a veterans’ organization, it does view former members of the military as the backbone of its efforts. And many veterans see the team-building and camaraderie as a kind of therapy for service-related trauma.

“There are so many people who have [post-traumatic stress disorder] from different things, and when you’re with family you have to pretend that you’re OK,” says Ward, who deals with PTSD from her time as a soldier and firefighter. “But when you’re with your Team Rubicon family, it’s a tribe.”

This article originally appeared on NationSwell. Follow @NationSwellon Twitter.

Veterans

#VeteranOfTheDay Marine Veteran Therrel Shane Childers

Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Marine Veteran Therrel Shane Childers, who was the first combat death in Operation Iraqi Freedom.


Therrel “Shane” Childers was born in 1972. Childers was from Harrison County, Mississippi. He was from a military family. Childers’ father served in the Navy for 22 years, his brother also served in the Navy for eight and a half years and several extended family members have served or are currently serving. Childers knew from a young age what he wanted to do when he grew up. In a Newsweek article from April 2003, Joseph Childers, his father, recalls the time he was stationed in Iran and took his 5-year-old son to the U.S. Embassy in Tehran: “He saw those Marines in their dress blues guarding the embassy, and he wanted to be one himself.” When Childers graduated from high school in 1990, he joined the Marines.

In 1991, Childers served during Desert Storm. After the war, he served at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and then on security duty at the American Consulate located in Geneva, Switzerland, and the American Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. He later earned a slot at The Citadel in the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program. The program allows selected enlisted Marines without a bachelor’s degree to earn a degree and a commission. Childers attended college during active duty, and he majored in French. Childers completed the program in 2001.

After training at Quantico, Virginia, he served as second platoon commander of A Company, First Battalion, Fifth Marine Regiment and deployed to Kuwait in February 2003. The Iraq War began on March 20, 2003. On March 21, 2003, Childers led his unit on a mission to secure an oil facility in southern Iraq. A passing civilian vehicle opened up with a burst of automatic fire and killed him.

Childers was the first American killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was 30 years old. Childers posthumously received a Purple Heart and promoted to first lieutenant.

We honor his service.


Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.

This article originally appeared on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Follow @DeptVetAffairs on Twitter.

MIGHTY TRENDING

Vets are going to get a new ID card, and they’ll be ready for use next month

Veterans will be able to go online and order their new identification cards next month, Congressman Vern Buchanan announced Oct. 12. Buchanan, whose Veterans Identification Card Act (H.R. 91) was signed into law in 2015, said official ID cards will be available to all veterans free of charge by visiting the Department of Veterans Affairs website.


“Every veteran – past, present, and future – will now be able to prove their military service without the added risk of identity theft,” Buchanan said, noting that millions of veterans are currently unable to document their service without carrying around official military records.

“These ID cards will make life a little bit easier for our veterans and serve as a constant reminder that our brave men and women in uniform deserve all the care and respect a grateful nation can offer.”

When ordering online, veterans will need to upload a copy of a valid government issued ID (drivers license/passport), a copy of a recent photograph to be displayed on the card, and will need to provide service-related details. Once ordered, the Veteran ID Card will be printed and mailed directly to the veteran.

The ultimate, big bad list of 2020 Veterans Day discounts and freebies
Speaker John Boehner signs H.R. 91, the Veterans Identification Card Act, sponsored by Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-MI). Photo from Speaker John Boehner Flickr.

Prior to Buchanan’s bill, the VA provided identification cards only to those who served at least 20 years in the Armed Forces or received care from the VA for a service-connected disability. Veterans who did not meet these qualifications had to carry around a paper DD-214 document to prove their military status. This form contains sensitive personal information including social security numbers and service details that put veterans at needless risk for identity theft if they lost or misplaced their documents.

The new identification card will also provide employers looking to hire veterans with an easier way to verify an employee’s military service.

Buchanan represents more than 88,000 veterans in Sarasota, Manatee, and Hillsborough Counties. He served six years in the Michigan Air National Guard and four years on the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

Articles

Kurds say two American mercenaries were killed in Syria

Two Americans were killed while fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, a Kurdish militia announced.


According to a report by CBSNews.com, the Kurdish militia known as the YPG announced the deaths of Robert Grodt and Nicholas Warden during fighting near Raqqa, Syria. Their deaths bring the total of Americans killed fighting ISIS as volunteers to at least four.

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YPG fighters near Raqqa. (WATM file photo)

In a five-minute video released by the YPG on YouTube, Grodt, who adopted the nom de guerre “Dehmat Goldman,” told his story, explaining how he had been very sympathetic to the Kurds.

“I talked with my partner and my family, and I’m like, I’m gonna go out to Syria. This is something I care about,” he said in the video.

Warden, the other American confirmed killed in the fighting near the city ISIS claimed as its capital, had adopted the moniker Rodi Deysie and was an Army veteran.

“He was very strong-willed and very strong-minded and very much against ISIS and these terrorist groups,” his father Mark was quoted by CBSNews.com as saying. “He wanted to do whatever he could to get rid of them. He said not enough people are helping so he had to help.”

The ultimate, big bad list of 2020 Veterans Day discounts and freebies
A line of ISIS soldiers.

In a video released by the YPG, Warden said he volunteered to fight ISIS “because of the terrorist attacks they were doing in Orlando, in San Bernardino, in Nice (France), in Paris.”

The terrorist group may have been driven from Mosul, and ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has reportedly been killed, but they are still capable of carrying out heinous attacks. CBSNews.com reported that the group used children as human shields for a car bomb factory near Raqqa, preventing Coalition forces from carrying out an air strike on the facility. Instead, vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices are being attacked one at a time after they depart the production line.

MIGHTY TRENDING

How to honor Vietnam veterans

The following is an Op/Ed written by Ken Falke. The opinions expressed are his own.


There’s an important day of commemoration on March 29th — or in some U.S. States, March 30th — that goes unnoticed until the nightly evening news or a stumble on social media. This very special day is Vietnam Veterans Day, or in some states, “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.”

In 1974, President Nixon established this commemoration to recognize the contributions of the men and women who served during this unpopular war and tumultuous time in our history.

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Vietnam War memorial. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons | InSapphoWeTrust)

While many will rightly mark the day with speeches, tributes, and celebrations fitting for this great generation, there is a more meaningful way to honor our Vietnam veterans and all veterans. That honor is to provide them new and innovative ways to improve their mental wellness and reintegration into their communities.

Approximately 2.7 million young men and women served in Vietnam — about the same number that have served in Iraq and Afghanistan since September 2001. While all serving since 9/11 volunteered, few realize that almost two-thirds of Vietnam veterans volunteered to serve as well.

Even though Vietnam was an unpopular war, 91 percent of Vietnam Veterans said they were glad they served in the war, and one-quarter said they would do it again. What these numbers show is the incredible commitment to service that our Vietnam-era veterans share with the post-9/11 veteran generation.

But there are disturbing similarities as well. The current veteran suicide rate of 20+ per day is well publicized; though that the average age of the veteran is 55 years old is less known. PTSD rates from both generations hover around 30 percent.

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An American Green Beret (right), and a South Vietnamese soldier assist wounded Vietnamese soldier to medivac helicopter following fighting near the Special Forces camp at Duc Phong, 40 miles north of Saigon, Sept. 9, 1969. South Vietnamese spokesmen said government casualties reached a two-month high 502 dead and 1,210 wounded. It was the highest casualty toll since the week ending June 14, which saw 516 dead and 1,424 wounded. (Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS by Shunsuke Akatsuka)

Additionally, Vietnam veterans struggled — and many still do — with the same challenges that today’s veterans face: PTSD, anxiety, drug, and alcohol dependency, and family and work stability. By a percentage comparison, of the 591 Vietnam prisoners of war (POWs) only 4 percent had symptoms of PTSD.

So why did POWs who experience what would be considered the most traumatic experiences seem to fare so well?

Many suggest the leadership of Admiral James Stockdale while a POW in the “Hanoi Hilton.” His leadership provided purpose, mission, and direction as a team to “return with honor.”

Often, the sense of purpose provided by leadership during transitions facilitates growth to occur. While the DOD, the VA, and other organizations work hard to care for our veterans, the element of leadership seems to be lost after service and veterans fall into a “no-man’s land” that lacks wellness, a clear mission, and renewed purpose.

Why have we made so little progress in mental wellness for our returning warriors?

Many experts, including the Journal of American Medical Association, suggest that our reactive approach to combat related stress such as PTSD doesn’t work. Indicators show that our current approach has made little progress since the Vietnam War, and some suggest since World War I.

The ultimate, big bad list of 2020 Veterans Day discounts and freebies
Understanding PTSD is critical military veterans and their families. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nadine Barclay)

We are repeating minimally effective practices where veterans are offered medication, which largely attacks symptoms and leaves them as diminished versions of themselves, or talk-therapy provided by well-intended but often ill-equipped therapists, and cased in stigma.

Though the VA has announced plans to hire 1,000 additional mental health professionals, more therapists will not fix the inadequacies of the current approaches.

How can we do better?

First, expand public-private partnerships. The private sector and nonprofit organizations have developed new approaches to veteran wellness and reintegration that could be expanded. These approaches leverage training (which is compatible with military personnel and veteran culture) and new technology that could “triage” veterans and provide skills to facilitate Post-traumatic Growth before the need for medication or therapy.

Second, we need to recognize and address the stigma associated with therapy. While veterans — and civilians — can gain some benefit from talk-therapy and medication, one can only grow by learning the skills associated with growth. This requires a holistic training approach that veterans understand and allows them to thrive, not just survive.

Finally, innovation costs money. The President’s proposed budget has a 6 percent increase to the VA’s budget; much of it to focus on health care. While this is positive, we need to use new funds to create innovative solutions, not further outdated practices. While the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan continue and future threats remain, veteran mental health issues will likely worsen.

This March 29th and 30th we will stop to honor and welcome home our Vietnam veterans. While speeches, ceremonies, and commemorations will recognize their sacrifice, to truly honor their service — and the service of those that follow — we should facilitate growth and purposeful lives they truly deserve and welcomes them home.

Recognized as one of We Are The Mighty’s 25 veterans to watch in 2017Ken Falke is a 21-year service-disabled combat veteran of the U.S. Navy and retired Master Chief Petty Officer and is the CEO of organizational improvement solutions company Shoulder 2 Shoulder, Inc. He is also the founder and Chairman of Boulder Crest Retreat.

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