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Freebies and deals for veterans, military on Veteran’s Day

Posted Nov 7, 2012 by Janine Dorsey

Updated Nov 9, 2012 at 02:20 PM

Outback Steakhouse probably says it best in their press materials: “Cheers to you, mates!”

But there are lots of other folks who also want to show their appreciation for our country’s veterans and military. Here’s our roundup of Veteran’s Day deals and freebies:

* Free meal: Applebee’s invites veterans and active duty military to enjoy their choice of six free entrees on Sunday, Nov. 11.

* Greek Fest: Free admission to military and their families in honor of Veteran’s Day this weekend at the Tampa Greek Festival

* Fantasy of Flight: Aviation attraction located in Polk City will have special Veteran’s Day activities and guests from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. All active duty, retired, reserve and veterans with valid ID will receive free admission during the Veterans Day Salute. For more information, visit

* Concert: Carrollwood Cultural Center will present a free concert on Monday, Nov. 12 from 1 - 2:30 p.m. Northwest Hillsborough’s community band performs a number of patriotic tunes and American marches.

* Wings: Hooters is showing its appreciation for all veterans and active duty military personnel this Veterans Day by offering a special wing promotion at participating restaurant locations. On Sunday, Nov. 11, Hooters invites all military patrons with a military ID or proof of service to enjoy 10 free boneless wings with any drink purchase. To see a list of participating locations, visit

* Free food: To honor veterans and active duty military, Outback is offering a free Blooming Onion and Coca-Cola brand beverage on Sunday (Nov. 11) and Monday (Nov. 12). Visit their event page for acceptable forms of I.D. to claim the deal. 

* Furry friend: Hillsborough County Animal Services will offer special holiday hours and an adoption discount to honor those who serve our country. On Monday (Nov. 12) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Animal Services will offer half-priced pet adoptions to all active or retired military members. All Veterans Day adopters, both military and civilian, will receive a patriotic pet goodie bag. All adult cats (age 1 year and older) may be adopted for just $20.

* Waived fees: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will waive day-use fees for veterans, active and reserve members, and their families at the Corps-operated recreation areas nationwide on Veterans Day, Nov. 11.  The day-use fee waiver requires only verbal confirmation of service. This waiver covers fees for boat launch ramps and swimming beaches. The offer does not apply to camping and camping services, or fees for specialized facilities. Other agencies that manage recreation areas on USACE lands are encouraged, but not required, to offer the Veterans Day waiver of fees in the areas that they manage. Check out a list of recreation locations.

* Discount lodging: Rosen Hotels & Resorts in Orlando is offering half-price accommodations for U.S. military beginning Veterans Day weekend and lasting through the end of the year. Active duty and retired U.S. military including members of the Coast Guard, National Guard or Reservists can enjoy half-price accommodations and half-price off of buffet dining at Rosen’s four Orlando locations: Quality Inn International, Rosen Inn closest to Universal, Rosen Inn at Pointe Orlando and Clarion Inn Lake Buena Vista.

* Dinosaur World: Free admission to all veterans with valid I.D. on Sunday (Nov. 11) at Dinosaur World located in Plant City. Dependents get $1 off admission.

* Bagel: Veterans receive a free classic or signature bagel on Sunday (Nov. 11) at participating Einstein Bagels locations. Limit of one per guest and does not include schmear or toppings.

* More free food: Both Olive Garden and Texas Roadhouse are offering free meal deals for veterans and military. Click links for offer details. 

* Golf tournament: Innisbrook honors veterans with free admission and hospitality tent during the Legends tournament.

* Skating: Skate for free if you’re military (and family) at United Skates on Monday (Nov. 12).

* Still more free food: Tijuana Flats offers a free entree with a purchase of another and 10 percent off for veterans and active duty military with valid ID on Sunday (Nov. 11).  Golden Corral is offering a free buffet and beverage on Monday (Nov. 12) from 4 to 9 p.m.

* Bus ride: Military and veterans can ride HART for free with a valid ID card on Sunday (Nov. 11). The offer excludes HARTPlus and TECO Line Streetcar System. For more information and routes, visit Go HART

* Park admission: Day-use entry will be free to everyone, in honor of our nation’s heroes, at Florida’s state parks (excluding the Sunshine Skyway fishing pier) on Veterans Day. Discounted passes for future visits can be purchased by veterans and military members and families.

* Museum admission: Everyday, retired military with 20+ years of service, as well as active military, are admitted free of charge to the Armed Forces History Museum located in Largo.

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