Veterans Day means ceremonies and parades — and special freebies and deals to thank veterans and military for their service.
(To take advantage of the offers, you’ll need proof of service. Most freebies are available on Nov. 11 unless otherwise noted.)
Military brides can say yes to a free wedding dress on Nov. 14 at Camille Bridal Couture in West Hartford. The bridal salon has teamed up with Brides Across America, a national organization dedicated to providing free gowns to military brides-to-be. To qualify, a bride or her fiancé must be serving in the military; currently deployed (or deployed within the last five years) to Iraq, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Libya, Korea or Japan. ID and deployment papers must be presented. (You don’t have to live in the area where the giveaway is taking place. Dresses are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.) Call Camille Bridal Couture at 860-233-1203 for information, or visit www.bridesacrossamerica.com.
Old Sturbridge Village pays tribute to the country’s military heritage with free admission on Veterans Day to all active military as well as veterans and family members (up to six people). Special programming on Veteran’s Day includes children’s activities, military fife and drum music and highlights of 300 years of American military history. Interpreters will be dressed in uniforms from the Revolution through the Civil War. Information: www.osv.org.
Ocean State Job Lot stores are offering active duty military, National Guard, veterans, reserve members and families a 30 percent discount on most merchandise through Tuesday, Nov. 6. ID is required and offers can’t be combined with other specials or discounts. Information: www.oceanstatejoblot.com.
Veterans and active duty military get lunch on the house at Texas Roadhouse restaurants. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 12, service men and women get a free entree, sides and soft drink or coffee. ID required. Dine-in only. Information: www.texasroadhouse.com.
On Monday, November 12, Red Robin guests with a military ID, proof of service or in military uniform get a free Red’s Tavern Double burger and bottomless steak fries. www.redrobin.com.
Lunch is free for active duty military and veterans at participating TGI Fridays on Monday, Nov. 12, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Information: www.tgifridays.com.
Veterans and active-duty military personnel eat free from a special menu at Applebee’s restaurants this Veterans Day. (Participating Connecticut locations: Groton, Mansfield, Manchester, Plainville, Torrington and Orange.) Show up in uniform, or bring a U.S. Uniform Services Identification Card, U.S. Uniform Services Retired Identification Card, Current Leave Statement, Veterans Organization Card or a photograph of yourself in uniform. (Dine-in only.) Information: www.applebees.com.
Since 2004, the national organization Grace For Vets has offered veterans and service personnel with free car washes on Veterans Day. Hundreds of car-wash businesses participate, including dozens in Connecticut. Check www.graceforvets.org for locations.
Veterans and active-duty military, (ID required.) get a free Bloomin’ Onion appetizer and Coke at all Outback Steakhouses on Sunday and Monday, Nov. 11 and Nov. 12. Information: www.outback.com.
Active duty military and veterans who purchase a beverage get a free order of wings at participating Hooters restaurants on Veterans Day. Valid military ID or proof of military service required. For more information, visit, www.HootersVeteransDay.com.
Active, inactive and retired military personnel get all-you-can-eat pancakes at Denny’s restaurants from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 12. Check www.dennys.com for locations.
On Monday, Nov. 12, the Connecticut Science Center is offering free general admission to those who have served or are currently serving in our military armed forces. Immediate family members who accompany these service personnel or have a family member currently deployed overseas get half off general admission. The Connecticut Science Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Information: www.CTScienceCenter.org or 860-SCIENCE (724-3623).
California Pizza Kitchens are offering veterans and active military a free dinner and (non-alcoholic) beverage on Sunday and Monday, Nov. 11 and 12. Come in uniform or bring military ID or proof of service. Information: www.cpk.com.
Veterans and active military get a free entrée at Olive Garden restaurants on Sunday, Nov. 11. Information: www.olivegarden.com.
Red Lobster restaurants are offering veterans and active military a free appetizer on Veterans Day. Information: www.redlobster.com.
UNO Chicago Grill is offering veterans and active military members a free entrée or individual pizza with the purchase of an entrée or pizza of equal or greater value. The offer is good on Sunday, November 11 and Monday, November 12. Military ID or proof of service is required. (There is a Uno Chicago Grill in Milford.) Information: www.unos.com.