Patriotic musings

Businesses give back to military in honor of Veterans Day

I have long held a special place in my heart for military veterans. From a young age, I can remember my father speaking with pride about enlisting in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. While he never saw combat, he was ready and willing to go. Both of my grandfathers served in the Navy during World War II, and I had a unique opportunity several years ago to interview my late great-uncle about his time in the Army during that war, when he was stationed in China and served as an encoder.

These days, veterans are even nearer and dearer to me. My boyfriend, Chuck, fought in Afghanistan, and I have many friends who have served—during peacetime and in combat. I admire their courage and, in honor of Veterans Day, I thank them for their service. From the bottom of my heart.

Supporting vet farmers There are lots of businesses, locally and nationally, that support veterans. I’ll name a bunch of them later. For now, I want to highlight one: Lucero Olive Oil. Last year, the Corning-based company decided to partner with the Farmer Veteran Coalition, a national nonprofit whose goal is to provide farming jobs for veterans, particularly those in rural communities like ours.

As part of its Future for Others program, Lucero is donating $5 for every large bottle of Five Star extra virgin olive oil sold during the month of November to the Farmer Veteran Coalition. Last year, the company donated nearly $1,500 to the organization, through drives in May (honoring Memorial Day) and November (Veterans Day). What’s more, the tasting room (2120 Loleta Ave., Corning) offers a 20 percent discount for all active-duty and veteran service members—every day.

Showing their thanks As I mentioned above, many local businesses care about America’s veterans. And many of them show that thanks, either through regular discounts or single events. For Veterans Day, here are a few local businesses offering their gratitude for service:

Gold Country Casino: On Nov. 11, veterans can go to the casino and chow down for free. That’s right, Gold Country is offering a free buffet lunch (11 a.m.-3p.m.) or dinner (4-9 p.m.) for all vets.

Free eats: A variety of national chains offer freebies, from appetizers to full meals, on Veterans Day—and sometimes a day before or after as well—to active and former military. Here’s a sampling: Applebee’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Chili’s, Denny’s, IHOP, Krispy Kreme, Logan’s Roadhouse, Olive Garden, Outback Steakhouse, Panera, Red Lobster and Starbucks.

Other cool stuff: Get a free haircut at Great Clips. Visit the Gateway Science Museum and any national park for free. Also receive discounts at stores like Bed, Bath & Beyond, Home Depot, JC Penney, Lowe’s and OSH.

• For those of us who are not military, we can still participate by supporting businesses that support our military. For instance, Baskin-Robbins donates 11 cents for every scoop sold on Nov. 11 to the USO.