On Veterans Day, AskPatty is #HonoringVets with Heartfelt Gratitude
Today is the day we show our gratitude to those 22 million men and women who have served our country in defense of our rights and safety. In the United States, we pay our respects with Veterans Day; in Canada and British Commonwealth Nations, it’s called Remembrance Day; and called Armistice Day in other parts of the world.
The holiday marks the ending of World War I, and is celebrated each year on November 11 because it was in the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, that major hostilities of the war were formally ended and the Armistice with Germany went into effect.
Our Veterans put everything on the line to protect our freedom. We may never be able to repay them for their sacrifice, but we can show them just how much we appreciate all that they’ve done.
America’s veterans are some of our nation’s bravest, hardest-working men and women. However, it can hard to show them the appreciation they deserve when, back home and out of uniform, they’re more camouflaged than ever. Greenlight A Vet is a campaign to establish visible national support for veterans by changing one light in or around our homes to green, the color of hope, renewal, and well-being.
Supported by WalMart, the program encourages people to change one light to green in a visible location -- on your porch, in your home, or at your office -- and keep it glowing every day as a symbol of appreciation and support for our veterans. Then, share your support by taking a picture of your green light and posting it using the hashtag #greenlightavet.
“By uniting behind a visible symbol, we can ignite a national conversation in our communities about opportunity, success and service for veterans as they take off the uniform,” said retired Brigadier General Gary Profit, Walmart’s senior director of military programs.
As part of its “Welcome Home Commitment” program, WalMart has pledged to hire 250,000 veterans by 2020. The company recently hired its 100,000th vet, and has promoted 9,000 since 2013, according to MilitaryTimes.com. Since 2011, WalMart's foundation has pledged more than $40 million to veterans groups that provide job training, transition help, and education. As part of the #GreenlightAVet program, all proceeds from the sales of green light bulbs at Walmart goes to veterans charities.
Special Offers on Veterans Day
As part of the holiday that honors veterans both dead and alive, many businesses thank Veterans with special offers.
For instance, Veterans and Active-Duty Military who visit Applebee’s can select a free meal from a limited menu for Veteran’s Day. California Pizza Kitchen is also serving free entrees from a special Veterans Day menu including pizza, salads, and pasta, to Veterans in uniform or with military ID. From 5 a.m. to noon all active, inactive, and retired military personnel at participating Denny’s restaurants will receive a free Build Your Own Grand Slam breakfast. Olive Garden will offer a free entrée including unlimited soup or salad and breadsticks to all veterans and active duty military, as well as a 10 percent discount off their meal to those dining with the veteran.
These are just a few of the special offers available to Veterans today, but there are lots more listed at MilitaryBenefits.info.
In addition to providing free meals and special offers to Veterans, some companies are also making generous corporate donations, as well. This year Denny’s is extending their support of America’s heroes with a $23,000 donation to Fisher House Foundation, a non-profit organization providing free accommodation for military and veterans’ families during medical treatment. The donation, in the form of Denny’s gift cards, will help feed nearly 1,000 families during their stay at a Fisher House.
“As America’s Diner, it is important for us to thank and pay respect to those who served our country and give back to those who have given so much for us,” said John Dillon, @DillonJohnW, chief marketing officer for Denny’s. “We’re incredibly grateful for the courageous service and sacrifice of our past and present heroes, and we hope they’ll join us on Veteran’s Day and enjoy a small taste of our gratitude.”
And, in case you didn’t know it, most automotive manufacturers offer special discounts to Veterans any time they purchase a new car (not just on Veterans Day). Rules and eligibility may vary by make and manufacturer, but most of these military programs are available to active duty military members and Reserves of the U.S. Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, National Guard, and Coast Guard, and includes their spouses. Some offers are even available for retired or honorably discharged members.
The following manufacturers offer some form of military incentives: Ford (and Lincoln), Hyundai / Kia, Chrysler (Dodge, Jeep, and Ram), and Toyota (and Scion). Military incentives are also available from Audi; Honda (and Acura), Nissan (and Infiniti); and Volvo. General Motors (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC) offers a special Military Purchase Program (MPP) with an assortment of discounts and incentives on most of their models. Other manufacturers may offer discounts at the dealer level, so if you’re negotiating a new car, be sure to ask your salesperson if you might be entitled to any additional discounts based on your military service history.
For the truly patriotic, each year The Veterans Day National Ceremony is held on November 11th at Arlington National Cemetery. The ceremony commences precisely at 11:00 a.m. with a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns and continues inside the Memorial Amphitheater with a parade of colors by veterans' organizations and remarks from dignitaries.
AskPatty joins with The United States Department of Veterans Affairs to encourage everybody to honor Veterans with thanks and gratitude using the hashtag #HonoringVets. Be sure to share your own tweet or Facebook post today!