By Jason the 200 lb. Cowboy

November 11th is Veterans Day! This is the holiday that we recognize and honor all past and present military who have served our country. This holiday is celebrated each year on November 11th, which is the anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended World War I. Veterans Day originally started off as Armistice Day in 1919 but in 1954, President Eisenhower changed the name to what it is today. Similar “Remembrance Day” celebrations take place worldwide as well.

Today, there are over 20-million veterans living in the United States and this holiday is for them. We honor those veterans for their patriotism and their willingness to serve and sacrifice for the good of our country.

Who are these amazing people? The brave men and women who serve and protect the U.S. come from all walks of life; they are parents, children and grandparents. They are friends, neighbors and coworkers, and an important part of their communities. Here are some facts about the current veteran population of the United States (courtesy of U.S. Census Bureau and United States Department of Veterans Affairs).

  • 2-million veterans are over the age of 65.
  • 9-million veterans are under the age of 35.
  • 8-million veterans are women.
  • 8-million veterans served during the Vietnam War era (1964-1975), which represents 33% of all living veterans.
  • 2-million veterans served during the Gulf War (representing service from August 2, 1990, to present).
  • 6-million veterans served during World War II (1941-1945).
  • 8-million veterans served during the Korean War (1950-1953).
  • 6-million veterans served in peacetime.
  • As of 2008, 2.9-million veterans received compensation for service-connected disabilities.
  • 5 states have more than 1-million veterans in among their population: California (2.1 million), Florida (1.7 million), Texas (1.7 million), New York (1 million) and Pennsylvania (1 million).
  • The VA health care system had 54 hospitals in 1930, since then it has expanded to include 171 medical centers; more than 350 outpatient, community, and outreach clinics; 126 nursing home care units; and 35 live-in care facilities for injured or disabled vets.

Here’s a list of national chains and restaurants offering freebies and deals:

Valvoline Instant Oil Change: 1/2 off all full-service oil changes. has the coupon needed. You can show it right from your phone.

Bob EvansFree meal from a special menu available all day. Military ID required.

IHOPFree red, white and blue pancakes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Little CaesarsFree Hot-N-Ready lunch combo from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Applebee’s: Free meal from a special menu and get a $5 coupon that can be redeemed Nov. 12-27.

Red Lobster: Veterans, active duty military and reservists get a free appetizer or dessert with a valid military ID on November 10th and 11th.

LongHorn Steakhouse: Free appetizer or dessert, and veterans and their guests will receive 10% off their meal.

Fazoli’s: Veterans will receive a free “Build Your Own Pasta Bowl” on Nov. 11.

Chicken Salad Chick: Veterans get a free Original Chick meal, which includes a chicken salad scoop or sandwich, side, pickle and cookie, with a drink. No purchase necessary. Find locations here.

Baskin-Robbins: For every ice cream scoop sold in the U.S., the company will donate 11 cents to United Service Organizations.

Outback SteakhouseFree Bloomin’ Onion and a beverage. Outback also is offering active and former service members 15% off their meals and their families’ Nov. 12 through Dec. 31.

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews: All veterans and active duty military get a free Red’s Tavern Double Burger and bottomless steak fries at participating restaurants nationwide. Red Robin is also donating $10,000 to United Service Organizations.

Ruby TuesdayFree appetizer up to $10.

Buffalo Wild Wings: Free small order of traditional or boneless wings with a side of fries.

ChipotleFrom 3 p.m. to close, all U.S. military, military spouses and veterans get a buy one get one free burrito, bowl, salad or tacos.

Chili’s: Free meal from a special menu.

Olive Garden: Veterans and active duty service members get a free entree.


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