The Downtown Boise Veterans Day Parade may have been celebrated last weekend, but Veterans Day actually falls on Sunday, November 11.

Michelle Heart, Townsquare Media Boise
Michelle Heart, Townsquare Media Boise

In my family, Veterans Day has always been a big deal because of my grandfather, John Bistrica.  Grandpa was part of the first assault wave on Omaha Beach in Normandy, France on D-Day.  The night of the assault, he and his fellow soldiers dug in hoping not to be attacked by German tanks.  The next morning, they were shocked to find out that a German unit had spent the night on the other side of the shrubbery they were near.  They were able to able to capture 14 of those German.

He fought for four months before suffering a concussion when a shell exploded near him.  The explosion also damaged his hearing and they ended up honorably discharging him. He mad it home just in time to enjoy Christmas with his family (who had initially been told that he was missing in action) in 1945.  Over the years, he's spent Veterans Day telling his stories to elementary school students in our home town and participating in parades honoring vets and the military.

I can't thank my Grandpa enough for his bravery at the age of 20 and giving my dad, his siblings and us grandkids the opportunity to live live our own American dreams...but many Treasure Valley businesses are finding little ways to thank vets like my grandpa and those who served after him this weekend.  Check out the deals and freebies available this weekend.

Veteran's Day Freebies 2018

Denny's: Treasure Valley Denny's locations is serving up one of their most iconic dishes for vets on Monday, November 12 from 5 a.m. - 12 p.m. Active, inactive and retired military will receive a free grand slam.

IHOP: IHOP loves serving up free pancakes. Fresh off of doing free "scary face" pancakes for kiddos on Halloween, they're now offering vets a stack of Red, White and Blue pancakes or a patriotic pancake combo from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. on Monday, Noveber 12

Applebee's: Applebee's has put together a special menu for veterans and active duty military. Bring in a military ID and choose from a FREE entree of a Classic Bacon Cheesburger, 6 oz. USDA Select Top Sirloin, Chicken Tenders Platter, Double Crunch Shrimp, Fiesta Lime Chicken, Oriental Grilled Chicken Salad, Oriental Chicken Salad or Tree-Cheese Chicken Penne. This deal is available on Sunday, November 11.

Big Al's: Big Al's in Meridian will offer free bowling for active and retired military members on Monday, November 12 from 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.

Bonefish Grill: The Bang Bang Shrimp appetizer is one of the most popular items at this BoDo restaurant and it's FREE to veterans on Sunday.

Buffalo Wild Wings: If you're a veteran or active duty military, you may have just found where you'll be watching NFL football on Sunday! Buffalo Wild Wings brings back their "Wings for Heroes" day, offering a free small order of traditional or boneless wings and a side of fries. It's dine in only on Sunday.

Chili's: Like Applebees, is offering a special menu of free meals for vets and active duty military this Sunday.

Craftsman Unlimited Haircuts: The Treasure Valley barbershop is celebrating its official grand opening with free haircuts to veterans from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Sunday. All appointments are walk-ins.

Freddy's Frozen Custard and Steakburgers: If you're a veteran or active duty military, Freddy's has a free combo meal card waiting for you. Stop in and grab it on Sunday! It's valid through November 30.

Little Caesars: Pizza pizza! Veterans and active duty military can grab a lunch combo from 11 a.m. - 2p.m. on Sunday.

Olive Garden: Olive Garden has a select menu of FREE meals available to vets and active duty military on Sunday.

Outback Steakhouse: Outback is offering vets and active duty a "Vegemite Sandwich." No. I'm kidding. That was a really bad Men at Work joke. They're offering a FREE Bloomin' Onion and soft drink on Sunday.

Red Robin: YUM! Vets and active duty military get a free Red's Tavern Double Burger and bottomless fires on Sunday.

Sizzler: Sizzler has free lunch from a special menu for vets and active duty military until 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Starbucks: Starbucks isn't just thanking vets and active duty military, they're also honoring those who hold down the home front (military spouses.) Swing by Sunday for a free tall coffee.

Texas Roadhouse: Free special menu for vets and active duty military on Sunday.

That's just some freebies for vets! There's more food and services available this weekend! Click the button for even more.

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