In a company wide phone message from Chairman and Chief Customer Advocate Larry Cohen, Benco Dental associates today received a heartfelt reminder of Veterans Day, “I want to take a minute to thank my fellow Benco Veterans; there are 85 of us. And I also want to thank all Veterans everywhere. If you enjoy living in this fabulous free country, thank a Veteran.”

Associates at the nation’s largest privately owned dental distributor also marked the day with a themed jeans day, in which associates were encouraged to wear red, white and/or blue and donate $1 each to The Wounded Warrior Project. As a thank you for their service, all associate Veterans’ jeans day stickers were paid for by Benco Dental shared a partial list (below) of  “thank you” offerings extended by dozens of companies on Wednesday to the men and women who have served in the country’s armed forces with Veterans Day freebies, discounts and deals.

“Over the last five years it’s changed dramatically,” said Sarah Blansett, spokeswoman at “The longer we are at war, the more folks want to say thank you. … Over the course of 13, 14 years of war it’s gotten to be more of a tradition.”
Since participation may vary, law recommends calling the outlet you plan to visit to confirm participation:

Applebee’s: Free entrée from a fixed menu on Veterans Day.

Chili’s: Free entrée from a set menu.

Olive Garden: Free meal from a special menu; family members eating with them get 10 percent off their meals.

T.G.I. Friday’s: Free lunch from a special menu from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Denny’s: Free “build your own Grand Slam” breakfast from 5 a.m. until noon.

California Pizza Kitchen: Free entrée from a special menu of pizza, pasta and salad.

Little Caesars: Free $5 pizza-and-beverage lunch combo from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sizzler: Free lunch of chicken, steak or shrimp, and coffee, tea or a fountain drink until 4 p.m. (See participating locations here.)

Hurricane Grill & Wings: Free meal from a limited menu, including a nonalcoholic drink.

Red Lobster: Free appetizer or dessert (no purchase necessary) from a special menu, from Monday through Thursday.

Golden Corral: Free buffet dinner and beverage from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at all locations.

Steak ‘n Shake: Free breakfast skillet and coffee from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. for veterans.

PDQ restaurants: Free sandwich or three-piece chicken tenders.

Friendly’s: Free “Big-Two-Do” breakfast or burger and fries lunch (limit one meal per person).

Bob Evans Restaurants: Choice of four free breakfast items.

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers: Free Red’s Tavern Double burger with fries.

Cheeseburger in Paradise: Free burger and fries.

IHOP: Free pancakes with strawberries, blueberry compote and whipped topping from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

World of Beer: Free draught beer (for members 21 and over).

Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt: Free 6-ounce yogurt with toppings at all of its 300-plus locations.

Cracker Barrel: Free Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola cake for veterans.

Starbucks: Free tall (12-ounce) coffee, also open to military spouses.

Peet’s Coffee & Tea: free coffee (drip only) or tea.

Great Clips salon chain: free haircuts. Vets can either get a free cut or a voucher for a free cut to use any time before the end of the year. Other customers who purchase a service on Veterans Day will get a free haircut voucher to give to a vet (must be redeemed in the same time frame, and there’s a limit of one per customer.)

Startup (like Uber if you need to lift heavy things): Free moving help — two movers for an hour of work — for veterans who order on Veterans Day, for jobs taking place between Nov. 13 and Dec. 15, 2015. (Use the coupon code VeteransDay2015.)

Meineke Car Care Centers: Free oil changes. (Basic oil change only; advance booking at is recommended.)

Bed and Breakfasts: Around 500 bed and breakfasts and inns participating in program will offer free rooms for vets staying Nov. 10 or 11.

The Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee: Free admission on Veterans Day as well as the weekend; also open to families.

Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia: Free admission Nov. 6 through Veterans Day to military families, their dependents and veterans.

Knott’s Berry Farm: Free admission, with a spouse or guest, through Dec. 20; additional tickets may be purchased at a discount.