Today is, of course, Veterans Day. It's a national holiday observed annually for honoring those who have served in the United States Armed Forces.

There's no way any of us could ever say thank you enough to all of the brave men and women who have served and continue to serve and protect this great country.

Keeping that in mind, we can sure do small tokens of appreciation throughout the year to show our gratitude. And in a small way, many retailers are doing just that today on Veterans Day.

Several restaurants and retailers are offering free items and meals as a way of showing thanks.

Below are some of the national chains offering freebies today (we've only including those brands with locations in Acadiana).

Note: Check with individual businesses for details. Some may not be participating in the nationwide offers and/or may have different rules for the promotion. 

RESTAURANTS

Applebee’s: Veterans and active-duty military receive a free meal from a limited menu at participating Applebee’s on Nov. 11. Dine-in only. Visit Applebee’s website for details.

Carrabba’s Italian Grill: Active duty and veterans can get free calamari with a purchase. A valid ID is needed. Visit Carrabba’s website for details.

Chili’s: Free dine-in meal from select menu items for all veterans and active duty – all day.

Cracker Barrel: Enjoy a free dessert. The offer is for active-duty military and veterans.

Dunkin: Free donut for all veterans and active-duty military – all day.

Golden Corral: Military Appreciation Event will run from November 1, 2020 – May 31, 2021. Promotional cards for one FREE “Thank You” Meal will be distributed during the month of November, and can be redeemed November 1, 2020 – May 31, 2021. Who is eligible? Any person who has served in the U.S. Military (retirees, veterans, active duty, National Guard or Reserves) and who picked up a Military Appreciation Meal Promotional Card in November 2020.

IHOP: Free Red, White and Blueberry pancake combo for all veterans and active duty service personnel – 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Little Caesar’s: Veterans and active-duty military can get a free $5 Hot and Ready lunch combo from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

McDonald’s (all locations): Free breakfast or lunch sandwich to all veterans and active-duty personnel – all day, just show military ID.

Olive Garden: Veterans and active-duty military can get a free entree from a special menu.

Red Robin: Veterans and active-duty military personnel with a loyalty card can receive a free Red’s Tavern Double Burger and bottomless steak fries from Nov. 12 through Nov. 30. Offer good for dine-in or takeout.

Starbucks: Enjoy a free tall coffee if you’re a veteran or active-duty military member.

Texas Roadhouse: At Texas Roadhouse, Veterans Day 2020 has changed from previous years, due to the pandemic: “Things are different this year due to the pandemic and capacity restrictions. To celebrate Veterans Day, Texas Roadhouse will hand out dinner vouchers at our stores’ parking lots on Wednesday, November 11, from 11am – 2pm. We ask that all active, former, or retired military members please have their Military ID or proof of service when driving through to pick up their dinner voucher. Veterans and active military can redeem their dinner vouchers when they choose in-store until June of next year. Be sure to call your local Texas Roadhouse for details. We hope to see you here! We look forward to celebrating our nation’s heroes.”

Wendy’s: Any current or former military member with a military ID can receive a FREE small breakfast combo below that includes a breakfast sandwich (including the NEW Breakfast Baconator, Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit or Maple Bacon Chicken Croissant) plus a side and beverage – no purchase or coupon required. The offer is available for dine-in or drive-thru.

RETAIL

Kohl’s: Take 30% off in-store as a thank you from Kohl’s. The retail store also offers a 15% in-store discount every Monday as part of their Military Mondays. Make sure to bring your Military ID.

Home Depot: Veterans and active-duty military can receive a 10% discount on select items during in-store purchases on Nov. 11.

Target: Veterans, military personnel and their families can receive a 10% discount on one purchase Nov. 3 -11 in-store and online. Guests can visit target.com/military for more information and get verified for the offer.

Walgreens: The retailer is offering 20% off for military, veterans and their families Nov. 8-11. Walgreens also provides free flu shots for VA-enrolled veterans.

Bed, Bath & Beyond: Veterans and active-duty military can get 25% off their entire purchase Nov. 11-14 with proof of service.