The Margin: Veterans Day freebies and discounts for U.S. service members from Target, Starbucks, Dunkin’ and others

Veterans Day, the federal holiday honoring those who have served in the U.S. armed forces, is this Saturday — and there are plenty of discounts to be had for America’s service members.

Some businesses and offices may be closed or have modified hours on Veterans Day or the Friday before the holiday, so be sure to take that into account before venturing for a meal or shopping trip. But many retailers are open for business and ready to thank veterans for their service by giving out free food and drinks, or discounts on other goods. 

Related: Scams targeting veterans are on the rise — here’s how to avoid them

So here are some (of the many) Veterans Days freebies and deals available for former and sometimes active military personnel (all times local). Some businesses may require a valid military identification prior to receiving any freebie or discount.


The coffee and pastry chain is giving veterans and active military members a free doughnut on Saturday. The deal is available in-store, and is limited to one per person.

Krispy Kreme

Krispy Kreme
is giving veterans and active military service members a free doughnut and a free small coffee on Saturday. The deal is limited to one per customer, and is only available in-store.


The chain
is giving away free red, white and blue pancakes on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to active military and veterans.


The Seattle-based coffee chain is giving veterans, active military and their spouses a free 12-ounce coffee on Veterans Day. The Starbucks
freebie is limited to one per customer, and is available in-store or via the drive-through only.

Tim Hortons

Free coffees will be available on Saturday from this Canada-based chain

to veterans and active military. Limit one per customer.

Buffalo Wild Wings

The sports-bar chain is offering a free order of 10 boneless wings to veterans and armed service members on Saturday. The offer is dine-in only, and comes with a side order of fries.

Golden Corral

Perhaps the most free food a veteran could get on the holiday comes from the Golden Corral buffet chain. Current and former military members and their families are eligible for a free dinner the Monday following the holiday (Nov. 13). This covers a sit-down meal at the restaurant; no takeout orders.


The Applebee’s chain is giving all veterans and active military a free entree on Saturday. The freebie includes certain popular menu items, including the 6-ounce sirloin, the bacon cheeseburger and chicken salad.


The Mid-Atlantic sandwich chain and convenience store is offering veterans and active duty military members a free meal and car wash on Veterans Day.


Family-friendly restaurant and ice-cream maker Friendly’s is offering veterans and active military members a free lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.


is also offering a free entrée to veterans who dine-in. The freebie is for Saturday only, and applies to current and former military personnel.

Red Robin

The burger chain
is giving veterans and active military a free order of a burger and bottomless steak fries while dining in. The freebie is for Saturday only. 

Smoothie King

Free smoothies are available to active and former military men and women on Veterans Day. The Smoothie King’s freebie is for a 20-ounce drink, and is for Saturday only.

Red Lobster

The seafood chain is giving all veterans and active military duty a free shrimp meal for the next few weeks. The deal comes with six fried pieces of shrimp, fries and coleslaw, and can be redeemed anytime from Monday Nov. 13 to Sunday Dec. 10.

Other Veterans Day discounts

In addition to all of the freebies, several businesses are also offering discounts to current and former military members. 

Office Depot is offering a 25% off deal on qualifying regular and sale-price goods, and Lowe’s
always offers a 10% discount to veterans, although it’s also throwing in a free collectible pin to the first 150 who show up on Saturday. Sleep Number
is offering a 20% discount, Tractor Supply
is offering a 15% discount and Adidas

is giving a 30% discount online and in-store to veterans, as well.

has a 10% discount for current and former military members, as well as their spouses and children, which is available in-store and online. Home Depot
is offering a 10% discount to active military, veterans and their spouses on eligible purchases, and Walgreens
is offering 20% eligible regular-priced items from Nov. 10 to 13 for myWalgreens members who served in the military.

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