Veterans Day: facts, perks and events

("Veterans Day " by Southern Arkansas University, CC BY 2.0)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO) – Veterans Day is this Monday, November 11, 2019.  There are many events and freebies around town that you may want to take advantage of if you are a veteran or know a veteran.

Veterans Day is held on November 11 each year in the United States in honor of the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month:’ of 1918, which marked the end of World War I, known as Armistice Day.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially changed the name to Veterans Day in 1954.

The Uniform Holidays Bill was passed by Congress in 1968, which moved the holiday to the fourth Monday in October.  The law took effect in 1971, however, in 1975, President Gerald Ford returned Veterans Day to November 11 due to the significance of the date.

Some interesting facts about veterans according to History.com:

  • The Arlington National Cemetery holds an annual memorial service every Veterans Day and Memorial Day.
  • Approximately 9% of veterans are women
  • 7 million veterans served during the Vietnam War
  • 2 million veterans served during the Korean War
  • 3 million veterans have served in the War on Terrorism
  • Veterans Day does not have an apostrophe, according to MilitaryNews.com.  The holiday is not a day that is for one or multiple veterans, it is for all veterans.  So an apostrophe is not necessary.

Veterans Day is not the same as Memorial Day or Armed Forces Day.  Veterans Day celebrates those that used to wear a uniform, Armed Forces Day celebrates those that are currently wearing a uniform, and Memorial Day celebrates those that never made it out of their uniform.

There are quite a few events going on around WOWOland to celebrate Veterans Day.

  • Freedom Day – Free Dentistry for Veterans – Friday, November 8 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Dupont Family Dentistry will volunteer their time and talents to give back to those who served in the armed forces.  They will be providing complimentary services to both active duty military and retired veterans on a first come first serve basis.  Each honored guest may choose one service: a cleaning, a filling, or an extraction.  For more information, click here.
  • Veterans Day Parade & Ceremony – Saturday, November 9 at 11 a.m., at the corner of State Boulevard and Parnell Avenue.  Pay tribute to everyone who has served our country.  The parade route will continue north on Parnell and end at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, where a special ceremony will take place.
  • Veterans Appreciation Day – Saturday, November 9, after the Veterans Day Parade & Ceremony.  Head over to the Harley Davidson Dealership at 6315 Illinois Road in Fort Wayne and have lunch.  Veterans can also take advantage of 15% off of regular priced in-stock licensed merchandise with ID.  There will also be free swag from multiple military branches.  Lunch is free but, click here, to register so that there is enough food.
  • Veterans Day Memorial Service at Memorial ParkMonday, November 11 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Memorial Park.  Fort Wayne and Allen County Veterans of Foreign Wars posts will gather for their annual memorial service.
  • Veterans Day Lunch at Taylor Chapel – Sunday, November 10 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. at Taylor Chapel UMC, 10145 Maysville Road in Fort Wayne.  Free lunch with a free-will donation.  Pulled pork sandwich, coleslaw, baked beans, and pie.  Special presentation by Honor Flight.
  • Annual Veterans Day Celebration at American Legion Post 296 – Monday, November, 11 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. at 130 West Tillman Road, Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Enjoy Ham and beans, with cornbread and an auxiliary bake sale.

There are many places around town that are giving out free meals or services to our local veterans.

Free Golf for Veterans – Monday, November 11 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Foster and McMillen Park Golf Courses.  Bring your ID with you and veterans and active military personnel can play golf for free.

Department of Natural Resources – Monday, November 11.  With military ID or proof of service, all veterans, active-duty military and everyone in their vehicle will gain free admission to DNR state parks, reservoir properties, state forest recreation areas and state off-road vehicle riding areas.

Golden Corral Military Appreciation Night – Monday, November, 11 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. all retirees, veterans, active-duty, National Guard and Reserves can receive a free dinner with military ID.

Applebee’s – Monday, November 11 – Veterans and active-duty can receive a free meal from a limited menu at participating Applebee’s.

Bob Evans – Monday, November 11 – Veterans and active-duty military personnel receive a free meal from a select menu.

Chili’s – Monday, November 11 – Bring your military ID or proof of service and you will receive a free meal from a select menu.

Cracker Barrel – Monday, November 11 – Veterans with a military ID will receive a complimentary slice of Double Chocolate Fudge Coco-cola cake or its Pumpkin Pie Latte at all Cracker Barrel Old Country Store locations.

Little Caesars – Monday, November 11 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. can receive a free $5 HOT-N-READY Lunch Combo with military ID.

Logan’s Roadhouse – Monday, November 11 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., all active-duty and retired U.S. military personnel can enjoy a free meal from the American Roadhouse menu in honor of Veterans Day with military ID.

O’Charley’s – Monday, November 11, active-duty military and veterans can enjoy a free meal with military ID.

Red Lobster – Monday, November 11, veterans, active-duty military and reservists can get a free appetizer or dessert with military ID or proof of service.

Red Robin – Monday, November 11, Red Robin is honoring all veterans and active-duty military guests with a free Red’s Tavern Double Burger served with Bottomless Steak Fries at participating Red Robin restaurants with proof of service.

Smoothie King – Monday, November 11, veterans and active-duty military can get a free 20-ounce smoothie of their choice with military ID.

IHOP – Monday, November 11, IHOP is giving out free red, white, and blue pancakes with blueberries, strawberries, and whipped cream.

Buffalo Wild Wings – Monday, November 11, veterans will receive one small order of their “Wings for Heroes” with a side of fries.

Olive Garden – Monday, November 11, choose from six popular entrees from Olive Garden’s Menu for free.

TGI Fridays – Monday, November 11 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., get a free lunch menu item up to $12.  Guests will also receive a $5 coupon for their next meal at Fridays. Dine-in only.

Texas Roadhouse – Monday, November 11 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., veterans can choose a free meal from a 10 entree menu with a drink included.

Friendly’s – Monday, November 11, veterans and active-duty can enjoy a free breakfast, lunch or dinner.

BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse – Monday, November 11, veterans can enjoy a complimentary entree up to $12.95.

A&W Restaurants – Monday, November 11, veterans and active-duty military can receive a free combo.

Starbucks – Monday, November 11, veterans, active-duty service members and military spouses can get a free tall coffee.

Sport Clips – Monday, November 11, veterans and active-duty service members can stop in for a free haircut with proof of service.

Lucille’s BBQ – Monday, November 11, veterans and active-duty can enjoy a complimentary dessert with proof of service.

Keep in mind that most banks, as well as city, county, and most federal offices, will be closed on Monday, November 11 in recognition of Veterans Day.

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