Nov. 5, 2012 -- intro: Americans across the country will be celebrating veterans and active duty military Monday, Nov. 12 on Veterans Day. Many restaurants, stores and parks will be celebrating too with free meals, discounts for family members and other giveaways. Some establishments are kicking off their Veterans Day promotions early to give vets ample time to celebrate their duty to the U.S.
Click through to see who has great deals available to our troops.
quicklist: 1 title: Meals text: Many restaurants celebrate our vets on Veterans Day by offering them free meals. All Golden Corral restaurants will be having a "Military Appreciation Day" on Nov. 12 from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., where anyone who served in the U.S. military or is on current active duty can get a free meal with beverage. No identification is needed, says the chain, and bring your family and friends, although they'll have to pay the full price. Golden Corral served over 375,000 veterans on Veterans Day last year.
Applebee's is celebrating vets on Sunday, Nov. 11 at participating locations. Vets and active duty military can score a free meal off a limited menu, but make sure to bring proof of military service such as such as a U.S. Uniform Service ID card, U.S. Uniform Services Retired ID card, current Leave and Earnings statement, photograph in uniform, be wearing your uniform, a veterans organization card such as American Legion or VFW, or a DD214.
Vets, head to your favorite Hooters Sunday, Nov. 11 for 10 free boneless wings with a drink purchase. All vets and active military members must show military service ID or proof of service. Check out HootersVeteransDay.com for participating locations.
Champps Americana is giving a free burger to veterans and active duty military on Friday, Nov. 11 to celebrate their duty to the U.S. All participants must provide proof of service.
Outback Steakhouse is offering a free Bloomin' Onion and a Coca-Cola to veterans on Nov. 11-12. Vets can also receive 10 percent off their bill, excluding alcohol, from Nov. 13 to Dec. 31. Proof of service is required. For more information, visit Outback's website. media: 17611204
quicklist: 2 title: Places to Stay text: As part of the "B&Bs for Vets" program, participating inns and bed and breakfasts across the U.S. and Canada will be thanking active military, retired military and vets on Veterans Day. Service members will receive complimentary stays for one or more vets and a guest on Sunday, Nov. 11. Inns set how many free rooms they'll offer, and caution that demand could exceed supply. To register, go to www.betterwaytostay.com and click the B&Bs for Vets page.
Although it's not free, Disney World Resorts is offering discounted rooms to vets and their families to use any time in the next year. Active or retired members of the U.S. military, including the National Guard, reservists and the U.S. Coast Guard are eligible for this offer, but you have to book before September 28, 2013. The number of available rooms is limited so call (407) 939-7830 to make reservations, or click here for more information. (ABC News is owned by The Walt Disney Company.)
To go with your hotel stay, Disney World is also offering 4-day military promotional park tickets for $156 each plus tax. Tickets may be used Oct. 1, 2012 through Sept. 28, 2013.
quicklist: 3 title: Outdoor Adventures text: Anheuser-Busch's "Here's to the Heroes" program has been celebrating military members all year long. Through 2012, members of the military and as many as three direct dependents may enter SeaWorld, Busch Gardens or Sesame Place parks with a single-day complimentary admission. Any active duty, activated or drilling reservist, or National Guardsman is invited to head to herosalute.com to register.
During Veterans Day weekend, Nov. 10-12, the U.S. Forest Service will waive fees at all of its parks and recreation sites that charge. Fees will be waived for all Americans, not just veterans, so it's a great way to get outside with family and friends and celebrate vets. For fun ideas of what to do at national parks, visit the US Forest Service's website. media: 17611171
quicklist: 4 title: Wedding Gown Giveaway text: If you're an active duty member's fiancé or a veteran, or active duty soldier getting married, Brides Across America wants to give you a free wedding dress. The organization is having free wedding-gown-giveaway events at participating salons across the country from Nov. 6 through Nov. 24. Brides and salons that wish to participate can register on Brides Across America's website. There are already more than 35 salons participating in the event. Events are first come, first served, and there are a limited number of gowns. You must bring a deployment orders or letters stating deployment location, and must have been deployed to a war zone in the past five years.
This is the 6th annual bridal gown giveaway for Brides Across America and they have already donated more than 8,000 gowns. media: 17611025
quicklist: 5 title: Retail Stores text: All year, Lowe's gives qualified military personnel and veterans a 10 percent discount on all personal purchases. The discount is also extended to immediate family members of those who are currently serving, retired veterans, or VA recipients. To qualify, you must be currently serving in, or retired from, a qualifying branch of the armed services and have a valid military ID card, or be a veteran who receives VA benefits and have a valid Veteran Identification Card. On Memorial Day, the 4th of July and Veterans Day, the discount is extended to all veterans who served honorably and who present a valid Form DD214 or other proof of service. Visit Lowes.com for more information.
Home Depot is offering a 10 percent discount on Veterans Day; a valid military ID is required.
Dollar General is offering 11 percent off your total purchase online Nov. 8-11 and in stores Nov. 11 to all veterans, active duty members and their immediate family. Some restrictions apply. Visit their website for more information.
Many stores offer discounts for veterans and active duty military all year round. media: 17610985