RI Veterans: Did you know? 4 November 21 – John A. Cianci

by John A Cianci, Department Veterans Service Officer,

                             Italian American War Veterans (ITAM)

2021 Veterans Day Free Meals and Restaurant Deals and Discounts

Did you know numerous national and local restaurants offer FREE meals, coffee, appetizers, etc. to Veterans on Veterans Day? Veterans must provide proof of military service and offer is for in-restaurant only.

Did you know Wendy’s founder, Dave Thomas, was a Veteran serving in the Korean War? Dave joined the Army at age 18 and served two and a half years during the Korean War before returning home in 1953.

Did you know on Veterans Day Starbucks is honoring those who have served with a free tall hot brewed coffee, and for every cup of hot brewed coffee sold that day, Starbucks is donating 25 cents to be divided evenly between Headstrong and Team Red, White & Blue to support the mental health of military communities.

2021 Veterans Day Free Meals and Restaurant Deals and Discounts

Veterans Day recognizes U.S. Veterans for their service and sacrifice on behalf of their country.

Veterans Day occurs on November 11 every year in the United States in honor of the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918 that signaled the end of World War I, known as Armistice Day.

Veterans sacrificed not just in what they did during their time in the military, but in what they didn’t do, or have — the typical entry-level positions or a 9–5 job that provides career advances, a competitive salary, holidays and time to enjoy quality time with their family and friends.

National and local restaurants and businesses show appreciation to Veterans on Veterans Day by offering FREE or DISCOUNTS on meals, coffee, donuts, and numerous other items in their way to THANK A VETERAN.

Veterans day celebrates the living who served our country.

Next Thursday will be Veterans Day 2021.

An estimated 60,000 Rhode Island Veterans have the opportunity to enjoy FREE breakfast, lunch, and dinners at numerous Rhode Island restaurants.

If you’re a Veteran, spend Veterans Day celebrating. For example, reach and meet up with a fellow Veteran at one of three dozen businesses and restaurants offering free meals.

Rekindle the camaraderie with other veterans by visiting as many of Rhode Island restaurants who offer a token of appreciation for your service.

Below is a list of some of the restaurants and business that will be offering FREE and/or DISCOUNTS next Thursday:

Applebee’s Restaurants offer Veterans and active-duty military a free meal when dining in from a special menu on November 11. And when dining in on November 11, military guests will receive a $5 bounce back card to redeem for dine-in, To Go or delivery within three weeks.

For 14 years and counting, Applebee’s restaurants across the country have served 10.3 million free meals in honor of our nation’s heroes, and this year is no different. With seven entrees to choose from, veterans and active service members can select a free meal from an exclusive menu of mouth-watering entrées, including: 6 oz. Top Sirloin, Double Crunch Shrimp. Fiesta Lime Chicken, Chicken Tenders Platter, Classic Bacon Cheeseburger, Oriental Chicken Salad, Three-Cheese Chicken Penne.

“We’re honored to be able to give thanks to those who have served our country through our annual free meal offer at Applebee’s restaurants on Veterans Day,” said John Cywinski, Applebee’s President. “We have celebrated Veterans and active service members with free meals on Veterans Day since 2008 and are pleased to add an extra gift with $5 toward their next meal.”

Complimentary meals from the Veterans Day menu will be available for dine-in at more than 1,500 Applebee’s locations nationwide. For more information, please visit Hours vary by location, and guests are encouraged to call their local Applebee’s restaurant in advance to inquire about specific location hours.

*Available on November 11, 2021, at participating Applebee’s® only. Dine-in only. Not valid with other coupons or discounts. Beverage and gratuity not included. U.S. Veterans and Active-Duty Military simply show proof of military service. Proof of service includes U.S. Uniformed Services ID Card, U.S. Uniformed Services Retired ID Card, current Leave and Earnings Statement (LES), veterans’ organization card (i.e., American Legion, VFW), photograph of yourself in uniform, wearing uniform, DD214 and citation or commendation. Limit 1 meal per U.S. veteran or active duty military.

Atrium on Main, on Veterans Day, offering a free appetizer from 12-8pm to all active duty, retirees, and Veterans. ID required for verification of discount.

Chili’s FREE Veterans Day Meal

Join them on Veterans Day, Thursday, November 11, to enjoy a meal on us. Chili’s says: “Thank you for your service. Your Veterans Day meal is on us. Today and every day, we thank you, our Veterans and active military members who define selfless service. We look forward to once again showing our gratitude with a FREE Veterans Day meal as a small way to honor your service and the sacrifices you’ve made for our country. Thank-you will never be enough. Choose an entrée for your Veterans Day free meal; Chicken Crispers®, Margarita Grilled Chicken, Bowl of Chili or Soup & Salad, Chicken Bacon Ranch Quesadillas Just Bacon Burger, Oldtimer with Cheese, Cajun Chicken Pasta.”

The Coast Guard House , Narragansett, offers 20% off food for Veterans and active military, every day, not just Veterans Day.

Coffee & Cream’s Breakfast Restaurant, 900 Victory Highway, N. Smithfield, offers a free Norm Muffin sandwich (egg, cheese and choice of bacon, sausage, or ham), plus home fries and a free cup of coffee. The Norm was named after the owner’s father, who founded the restaurant.

Costantino’s Venda Bar & Ristorante, Providence, offers 10% off all food and beverage for lunch or dinner.

Denny’s. Veterans and active military personnel get a free Build Your Own Grand Slam on November 11, from 5 a.m. to noon. Dine-in only.

Dunkin’(Dunkin Donuts). Veterans and military members can take a break on Nov. 11 at Dunkin’. Vets enjoy a FREE donut of their choice.

Golden Corral Veterans Day 2021 – Golden Corral and DAV are proud to relaunch the annual Military Appreciation Night on Thursday, Nov.11, 2021, between 5 and 9 p.m. Participating Golden Corral restaurants nationwide will welcome our nation’s veterans and active-duty military men and women to a free buffet dinner and drink and tons of camaraderie. – “We’re proud to have honored our active and former military members for 20 years through Military Appreciation Night and are excited to be able to return to a Dine in celebration this year!” Military Appreciation Night will be held on Veterans Day, Thursday, November 11 from 5pm – close. We will once again be honoring our military heroes with a free “thank you” meal.

Grey Sail Brewing, Westerly RI on November 11, offers a FREE beer to active and retired members of the military from 12-8pm during their anniversary party. on the party will feature food trucks, live music, and giveaways. Proceeds from the Veterans’ Day event will support Work Vessels for Veterans while active and retired members of the military will receive a free beer and discount.  

IHOP offers Veterans and active-duty military free Red, White & Blueberry Pancakes at participating locations on November 11. Dine-in only.

Iggy’s Broadwalk Restaurant and Bishop Hendricken High School will honor those who served with a FREE Veteran’s Day Breakfast 8:30-9:30am. All veterans are invited to attend and should RSVP to Peter Thomas ’86 at 401.889.5424 or by Monday, November 8, 2021.

Starbucks on Nov. 11, Starbucks is honoring those who have served with a free tall hot brewed coffee and for every cup of hot brewed coffee sold that day, Starbucks is donating 25 cents to be divided evenly between Headstrong and Team Red, White & Blue to support the mental health and the wellbeing of military communities.

Texas Roadhouse, Cranston will hand out dinner vouchers at the stores’ parking lots on November 11, from 11am to 2pm. Veterans and active-duty military can redeem their dinner vouchers when the restaurant opens for dinner, through May 30, 2022.

Bacco Vino & Contorni , Providence offers appetizers for US service members on November 11  offers a complimentary appetizer at lunch or dinner.

Wickford on the Water, North Kingstown will offer 50% off selected food only (no alcohol) for one meal per person.

Wendy’s salutes Veterans and Active Military with FREE Breakfast. In honor of Veterans Day, Wendy’s® is thanking those who have served or are currently serving in the U.S. Military with a FREE breakfast combo offer* with valid military ID or a Veterans Advantage card.Whether you’re a fan of the Maple Bacon Chicken CroissantHoney Butter Chicken Biscuit or crowd favorite Breakfast Baconator® combo, the offer is a small gesture of gratitude for the men and women who work tirelessly to protect our country.Visit a participating Wendy’s location on Veterans Day, Thursday, November 11 from 6:30 – 10:30 a.m. Please check your local Wendy’s as breakfast hours may vary by location.


Sunday, Nov. 7, Salute to Veterans, Assembly Theatre, Harrisville, doors open 430pm, show starts at 6pm. ComedyFactory RI John Perrotta’s, will be joined by comedians Prince of Mystery and Mike Murray for a fun fill night. Beer, wine, Rhode Island Saugy dogs, popcorn, and other refreshments will be sold at the event. Tickets are free for all veterans and one guest. ComedyFactory RI. All patrons attending are asked to bring a can or two of canned goods, which will be donated to the local food pantry. Tickets can be ordered from Eventbrite, and or on Assembly Theatre ‘s website,

Tuesday, Nov 9, FREE Online Class for grades  5-10, 7-745pm. What is a Veteran? Presented by Soldier & Sailors Memorial Hall Museum –  

Presented by Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum – What is a Veteran?

Veterans Day is a time to remember and honor those individuals who have served in the United States military. In this live, online class, we’ll learn about the origins and history of Veterans Day, with a special focus on the different decorations for valor that are awarded to our country’s heroes.

Nov. 10 Wednesday Bishop Hendricken High School  Fr. Marciano will host a prayer service in honor of Veterans’ Day at 1pm in the War Memorial Prayer Garden on campus. All are invited to attend; no RSVP required.

Thursday, Nov. 11th, parade begins 10AM, ceremony 11AM, “South Kingstown Veteran’s Day Parade”, starting on Holly Street behind Old Mountain Lanes, 756 Kingstown Road, Wakefield, with the formal ceremony at Saugatuck Park near Wakefield School celebrating woman veterans.  For more information call VFW Post 916 at 401.789.0150, or email    

Thursday, Nov.11th, 830AM, “Annual Veterans’ Day Ceremony”, conducted by Chapter 48, Special Forces Association, at the Special Forces Monument, Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery, 301 South County Trail, Exeter.  Breakfast will follow at the Homestead Restaurant, 750 South County Trail, Exeter.  Point of contact is Tom Duffney at 401.301.8582, or via email at  

Thursday, Nov. 11th, 1045AM, “Infantry Lodge Associates Annual Armistice Day Celebration”, The Squantum Association, 947 Veterans’ Memorial Parkway, Riverside, East Providence.  Additional information to follow as finalized.  Point of Contact is Retired Colonel David H. Russell at

Friday, Nov. 12th, 705 PM, “Providence Bruins Military Appreciation Weekend”, The Providence Bruins host Lehigh Valley on the first night of Military Appreciation Weekend at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center! Be there as we honor our military service members and see the players take the ice in special military themed jerseys! Plus, save big with the Fan 4-Pack Special Offer for this game!

Nov. 12th. Registration is open until Friday, November 12th for Operation Jeepers Christmas for children 0-17 years old of all active military, National Guard & Veterans.  Registration is open until Friday, November 12th. Operation Jeepers Christmas offers an adopt-a-family program. Military & Veteran families submit their wish lists to #PNHINC and our Sponsors adopt the families by purchasing items from their wish lists, wrap and in most cases include a Gift card for a local Supermarket for Christmas. Register Here:

Nov 13 Sunday, Vets Rock Returns to Mohegan Sun November 13th

7th annual event benefiting veterans and active duty military to take place in the Uncas Ballroom. Vets Rock, a free event where Mohegan Sun and the community come together to celebrate active duty military and veterans with a day of valuable programs and resources, returns Saturday, November 13th. Special services featured in the Uncas Ballroom include a career fair presented by Mohegan Sun.

Saturday, Nov. 20th, Doors Open 430PM, Dinner 530PM, Show Starts 615PM, “Salute to Veterans – Comedy Night & Dinner”, Officer’s Club, Naval Station Newport, 95 Perry Road, Newport.  Point of contact is John Cianci at 401.677.9VET, or via email at

Saturday Nov 20th. Comedy/Dinner show at the Officers Club, Newport RI. ComedyfactoryRI comedians will perform at the Veteran Fundraiser. Tickets are $50 per person, dinner at 5:00. Show starts at 6:00PM. Event is sponsored by the Italian American war Veterans and all veterans residing at the Veterans Home the event will be free, to include a ticket for their guest. Sponsorships for a Veteran attending from the Veterans Home, are encouraged for those who can’t attend, $50 (which covers the veteran and a guest).Tickets available on Eventbrite,

Monday, Nov. 22nd, 11AM, “Dedication Ceremony Honoring All Rhode Island Women Veterans”, Rhode Island State House, 82 Smith Street, Providence.  Point of contact is Ginny Hanson at

If you have an event, meeting, other pertinent veteran information, or email questions or help needed, contact the Italian American War Veteran Service Officer, John A Cianci,, ITAM Office 1-(401)677-9VET(9838)

Veteran Discounts


Applebee’s – Military Discount … With more than 2,000 locations, Applebee’s is a family grill restaurant. Applebee’s gives 10% off for active duty and veteran. Last verified 07/31/2028

Chuck E. Cheese’s Military Veterans Discounts

Specials for Military Families:
As a small token of our gratitude and as a way to give back for your service, Chuck E. Cheese’s is proud to have special military discount food offers. When you come in store, just ask about our specials for military families and show your Common Access Card, Uniformed Services ID Card, or Dependent ID Card, to be eligible for any of our special military discount food offers.

Qualified Applicants
– Active duty service members and their dependents

– National Guard and Reservists and their dependents

– Retired service members

Denny’s, Hartford Ave, Johnston Offers 10% discount for veterans and active duty.Denny’s is a table service diner-style restaurant chain.  Last verified 07/31/2028 (PS I had breakfast there on Saturday).

Outback Steakhouse 10% Discount to active and veterans. Last verified 07/28/2021

99 Restaurant & Pub: The 99 Restaurant & Pub offers a 10% military discount to members of Veterans Advantage. Available at select locations only. Bring valid military ID

Texas Roadhouse To our nation’s Veterans, thank you. Throughout the year, we support our nation’s veterans and service members at both the local and national level. Every day, Veterans and active military men and women will find reserved parking at our restaurants. And every Veteran’s Day, we’re honored to offer free meals to Veterans and active military men and women. Many sites also claim Texas Roadhouse offers up to a 20% off your bill for active-duty military with proper military ID. Please be sure to check with your local Texas Roadhouse and wait staff prior to ordering!


Advance Auto Parts 10% for Active Duty, Veterans and families. Last verified 07/28/2021

Bass Pro Shops: Bass Pro Shops offers a 5% discount to active-duty military, reservists, and National Guard. Sign up and verify your status online or bring your military ID when you shop at your nearest Bass Pro store (source).

BJs Wholesale Reduced membership fee. BJ’s offers all military personnel over 25% off their Membership. Last verified 07/28/2021

Denny’s offers a military a 10 or 20 percent discount depending on the location.

Hooters supports our troops all year long. Service members get 10% off their meal every day and 20% off on Tuesdays. Valid Tuesday only on the 20% off and 10% off Wednesday-Monday to these, as well as alcohol and merchandise excluded from discount.

Lowes. Enroll in the Lowe’s Military Discount Program to Activate Your 10% Discount

Our way of saying “Thank You” to our active duty, retired and military veterans and their spouses with a 10% discount on eligible items. Verification of your military status is fast and easy through our partner, is our trusted technology partner in helping to keep your personal information safe.

GameStop is offering a 10% in-store military discount on all pre-owned products, collectibles, and select new products. Available to current and former military members who bring any valid proof of service or when they verify through 

Home Depot offers a 10% OFF military discount on regularly priced merchandise for in-store purchases for active duty, retired military, and reservists at participating locations. Customers are required to show a valid government-issued military ID card to redeem this offer.

Kohls 15% Kohl’s offers active military, Veterans, retirees and their immediate family members a 15% discount on purchases made on Mondays, in store only. In order to receive the military discount, eligible customers must present proper identification along with any tender type.

Jiffy Lube. HONORING VETERANS ALL DAY EVERY DAY!We didn’t want to wait for Veteran’s Day to express our appreciation and gratitude for your service. That’s why every Team Car Care owned and operated Jiffy Lube® service center is offering our BEST discount of 15% OFF as a “Thank You” to the men and women of our Armed Forces for their service to our country. *Disclaimer*- I.D. required. No coupon is required. Excludes batteries and brakes, alignment, and diagnostic services. Available only at select locations listed below:

Tioque Ave, Coventry RI

Bald Hill Road, Warwick RI

Park Ave, Cranston RI

Michaels. Michaels Stores offers a 15% OFF military discount on the entire in-store purchase including sale items for active duty, retired military, guard, reservists, Veterans and family members. How to get,

  1. Create an Account. Log in or create a Michaels Rewards account.
  2. Get Verified. Provide your military information to get verified instantly.
  3. Go Shopping! To use your discount online and in store, just sign into your account or provide your Michaels Rewards phone number at checkout.

Ocean State Job Lot Thursday Nov 4 – Thursday Nov 11

A special deal for military personnel, Veterans and their families

During our Military & Veteran Deal Days – Thursday, November 4 through Wednesday, November 10, 2021 – all active-duty, National Guard and reserve military service members; all military veterans; and their immediate family members and dependents are eligible to receive a Crazy Deal Gift Card equal to 40% of their purchase when they spend $20 or more at Ocean State Job Lot.*A valid photo ID is required. 

O’Reilly Auto Parts 10% discount on in store items for Active Duty, Veterans and families. Last verified 3/4/21.

If you are a retailer and or a veteran aware of a business not listed above, please forward,  the business’s name, location, and military and veteran discount offered.


To read all columns in this series go to:


John A. Cianci is a Veteran Service Officer. Retired, U.S. Army MSgt., Persian Gulf War and Iraq War combat theater.

Cianci, a combat disabled Veteran, served in Desert Shield/Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His awards include Bronze Star, Combat Action Badge, Good Conduct, and others.

Cianci belongs to numerous veterans organizations – Italian American War Veterans, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign War, United Veterans Council of Rhode Island, and many more organizations. He is an active volunteer assisting veterans to navigate federal and state benefits they have earned. He is Department of Rhode Island Department Commander Italian American War Veterans and Veteran Service Officer.

He is a graduate of Roger Williams University (BS Finance), UCONN business school* (Entrepreneur Bootcamp For Veterans), Solar Energy International Residential, Commercial and Battery Based Photovoltaic Systems certificate programs, numerous certificates from the Department of Defense renewable energy programs, including graduate of the Solar Ready Vets Program.