The bugle is calling assembly for all Leathernecks, Deck Apes, Wingnuts, Dog Faces, Bubbleheads and Shallow Water Boys. No, this is not about throwing a costume party or casting a horror movie.
Veterans, form up to receive some great benefits to honor you for your service to our country. Many restaurants, fast-food places, and stores want to salute your patriotic service. Always, always ask for a military discount no matter what the time of year. Lowe’s and Home Depot honor veterans all year with a 10 percent discount while Kohl’s will give you 15 percent off.And Veterans Day now offers even more specials this coming week.
Golden Corral Restaurant in Gilbert gets the Congressional Medal of Honor as the best place to go for a free meal at 1318 North Cooper Road just south of Baseline Road on the west side of Cooper. This restaurant salutes America’s heroes with its 12th annual free-buffet dinner on Military Appreciation Monday this Nov. 12 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Military Appreciation Day at the Corral is always the Monday following the 11th of November.)
At last year’s Veterans Day at the Corral, I ate a steak so thick that I had to ask for a butcher’s apron and a KABAR knife. The Corral offers an all-you-can-eat buffet -- no mess-hall stuff -- just limitless delicious food. And no chits are needed to prove you are military. Wear a belt you can loosen, but not too loose -- or we’ll see your skivvies.
Golden Corral has served almost 3 million complimentary meals to military personnel and generated over $5 million in contributions for state and local Disabled American Veterans chapters. Arizona thanks the Golden Corral for outstanding service to the honored men who have given so much to our country. Telephone: (480) 507-3331. View www.goldencorral.com for more locations/info.
The Olive Garden at Superstition Springs, 6201 E. Southern Ave., Mesa (near the Burlington Coat Factory) invites all active-duty and veterans to enjoy a free entrée from a list of five choices on Sunday, Nov. 11 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Telephone: (480) 807-0207. View www.olivegarden.com for more locations/info.
Applebee’s, 2032 E. Baseline Road, also offers free chow with a choice of one entrée from a special menu of four full-size entrees. (Appetizers, drinks, and desserts are not included.) Please show your military I.D. either active or retired. Veterans’ freebies are on Sunday from 10 a.m. to midnight. Applebee’s is on the northeast corner of Baseline and Gilbert roads near Trader Joe’s. Telephone: (480) 545-4299. View www.applebee’s.com for more locations/info.
The Outback Steakhouse may be from Australia but they love us Yanks. Go to the restaurant at 2687 S. Market Street just south of the San Tan Village Mall and due west of Office Max. Get a free Bloomin’ Onion appetizer and a free Coke-product beverage. There are two days for Veterans: Sunday, Nov. 11 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Monday, Nov. 12 from 4 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.
Outback offers grilled steak, chicken, and seafood. I typically order the 6-ounce sirloin steak which is a mere $9.99. The steaks are carefully trimmed giving you the most melt-in-your-mouth meat for your money. Umm, I want another sirloin with garlic mashed potatoes and broccoli.Telephone: (480) 782-7504. View www.outback.com for more locations/info.
Red Lobster, 3845 S. Gilbert Road (on the east side near Target, offers free appetizers on Sunday and Monday Nov. 11-12 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Telephone: 726-7911. View www.redlobster.com for more locations/info.
Coco’s Bakery Restaurant also joins the parade. Coco’s would give you a medal if they could. Since they can’t pin a piece of pie onto your chest, they’ll bring you a nice free slice when you eat at Coco’s at 1525 W. Elliott Road near Priest Drive in Tempe. Go on Sunday, Nov. 11 between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. Telephone: (480) 496-5777. View www.cocosbakery.com for more locations/info.
Well, “off we go into the wild blue yonder.” There are too many more places to include. The Disabled Veterans of America has a list of 40 participating businesses, and many fast-food restaurants appear on that list. Before you guzzle your gas to drive anywhere, call ahead and ask about their Veterans Day specials. Most events this year seem to span a few days starting as early as Sunday, Nov. 11 and reaching to Wednesday, Nov. 14. Heck, you could get some free goodies all over the East Valley.
I love the old saying: “If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.” Arizona loves its veterans, so never assume that the answer is “no.” Always ask.
Well, go get’em. Geronimo!—as our paratroopers would yell. Jump out there and capture the rewards that you have so truly earned. Hooyah!
• Linda Hutchings is a Gilbert resident and life-long frugal consumer—uh, cheap skate. Please reach her at: email@example.com. Send her your penny-pinching ideas.