NOVEMBER 11, 2019 – On Veterans’ Day our Nation pauses to honor our men and women in uniform, both past and present. It is fitting that we honor those whose sacrifices and selfless service secured the privileges of freedom, democracy, and opportunities that we enjoy in the United States. From the first battle of the American Revolution, through today; our Veterans continue to protect the Nation.
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, an armistice was signed, marking the end of World War I. The day later was recognized as a holiday, which would eventually become Veterans Day.
James Mesco, 50th Space Wing historian, is a retired Air Force master sergeant whose father served in World War II and was part of the invasion on the beaches of Normandy June 6, 1944.
“Serving is more than putting a uniform on,” he said. “Service is about putting others before yourself, it’s about keeping our way of life preserved and protecting our future generations.”
Although a beacon of hope globally, the United States is still targeted by adversaries across the world. Despite the horrors associated with war, men and women have answered their nation’s call and responded bravely to tragic events. The bombing of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Dec. 7, 1941 that killed more than 2,400 Americans and the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks that killed more than 2,900 innocent people among them.
“Every job, whether a cook, cop, admin clerk or pilot – every single person serving is supporting the mission and creating a stronger and more capable military,” he said. “[Every service member] has a requirement to be ready to go wherever and whenever the military deems necessary. Everyone – enlisted, officers and civilians, contribute to the overall mission.”
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, there are currently 19.6 million veterans in the United States.
“Veterans provide a much needed voice to our leaders,” he said. “When you have people who’ve seen how horrific and terrible things could get, they’re able to provide priceless counsel to leaders.”
Originally recognized as Armistice Day May 13, 1938, President Dwight Eisenhower renamed Armistice Day to Veterans Day June 1, 1954. Veterans Day became a day to recognize everyone who has served in the military.
“Remember all who have served and the sacrifices they have made,” he said. “A lot of those serving have made the sacrifices for our country.”
Senior Airman Denis Rodriguez Escobar, 50th Comptroller Squadron financial operations technician and immigrant, said he is thankful for the opportunities the United States provides.
“The United States has done so much for me and my family,” he said. “Serving goes far beyond wearing a uniform. To me, it’s all about giving back to the country that’s already given so much to me.”
The Air Force history of excellence dates back to its establishment in 1947. Since then, it’s Airmen have crafted a tradition of honor and a legacy of valor by serving honorably and selflessly.
“It’s important to uphold military standards and remember those who sacrificed so much before us,” Rodriguez said. “It’s our duty as a uniform wearer to continue this successful legacy for future generations.”
Every day, young men and women raise their right hand and swear an oath to uphold and protect the constitution of the United States of America, yet they make up the less than one percent of Americans who serve to protect our way of life.
“If you see a veteran, thank [him or her],” Mesco said. “The sacrifices they made are so people like us can live free.”
Story by Airman 1st Class Jonathan Whitely
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
One of the many ways people will show appreciation on Veterans Day is with a free meal for veterans, active-duty service members, and their families. Restaurants across the country are offering food as a way to say thanks. That list includes local restaurants as well as big chains like Buffalo Wild Wings, Red Robin, White Castle, Noodles & Company, and many others.
Another Broken Egg Café – Active and retired military can receive a free Patriot French Toast Combo and Coffee on Nov. 11.
Applebee’s – Veterans and active duty military can get a free meal from a menu of eight entrees: Classic Bacon Cheeseburger, 6 oz. USDA Select Top Sirloin, Chicken Tenders Platter, Double Crunch Shrimp, Fiesta Lime Chicken, Oriental Grilled Chicken Salad, Oriental Chicken Salad, or Three-Cheese Chicken Penne.
Bonefish Grill – Pick up a free appetizer with the purchase of an appetizer if you’re active duty or a veteran.
Boston Market – Buy any individual meal and a drink to get a free Individual Meal as long as you can flash the coupon available at BostonMarket.com.
Buffalo Wild Wings – Buffalo Wild Wings is offeing free small boneless wings and fries for veterans on Nov. 11.
California Pizza Kitchen – Veterans and active military personnel can get a free meal from CPK. If you stop in, you’ll also get a card for a buy-one-get-one-free pizza, pasta, or salad during a return visit from November 12-20.
Chicken Salad Chick – Veterans or active duty military get a free Chick Special and regular drink.
Chick-Fil-A – Select Chick-fil-A locations will offer a free Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich to all active military personnel and veterans from 10:30 a.m. until close on Nov. 11. No purchase required; military ID required. Not available at all locations.
Chili’s – Veterans receive a complimentary meal from special entrée choices including: Chicken Crispers, Margarita Grilled Chicken, Bowl of Chili or Soup & Salad, Chicken Bacon Ranch Quesadillas, Just Bacon Burger, Oldtimer with Cheese, or Cajun Chicken Pasta.
Chipotle – On Nov. 11, active duty and retire military members and their families get buy-one-get-one free entrée.
CiCi’s Pizza – Active duty or retire military get a free unlimited buffet on Nov. 11.
Cracker Barrel – On Nov. 11, all U.S. military veterans and active duty military will receive a complimentary Pumpkin Pie Latte (iced or hot) or a slice of Double Chocolate Fudge Coca Cola Cake.
Dunkin’ – Veterans and active-duty personnel can start the day with a totally free sugar rush. You’re getting a free donut. No purchase required whatsoever. Through Dunkin’s partnership with A Million Thanks, service members will also get a card of thanks on Veterans Day.
Golden Corral – Veterans are getting a free beverage and buffet.
Hooter’s – All active duty military and veterans eat from a special menu on Nov. 11.
Huddle House – Active duty, retire or veterans get a free order of sweet cakes on Nov. 11.
IHOP – Active duty and retired veterans receive a free breakfast on Nov. 11.
Little Caesars – On Monday, Nov. 11 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., veterans and active military members can receive a free Lunch Combo, which features four slices of Little Caesars deep dish pizza and a 20-ounce drink.
Logan’s Roadhouse – On Nov. 11 from 3-6 p.m., veterans and active duty military receive a free American Roadhouse Meal.
Manhattan Bagel Company – Vets are getting a free bagel with cream cheese. Add that to a free coffee from somewhere else and you’ve got a solid start to the day.
Metro Diner – Metro Diner will offer 50 percent off for active and retire military on Nov. 11.
Outback Steakhouse – Military veterans, active duty service members, police, firefighters and first responders and their immediate family members receive 20 percent off on Nov. 11.
Pilot Flying J – Pilot Flying J is offering all active duty and retire military a free Pilot coffee and PJ Fresh breakfast sandwich, breakfast pizza or breakfast grill item on Nov. 11.
Red Lobster – Red Lobster is offering a free appetizer or dessert on Nov. 11 with valid military ID. Appetizers include Sweet Chili Shrimp; Mozzarella Cheesesticks; Parrot Isle Jumbo Coconut Shrimp; Seafood-Stuffed Mushrooms; Lobster and Langostino Pizza; Signature Shrimp Cocktail or Langostino Lobster-Artichoke-and-Seafood Dip. Desserts include Vanilla Bean Cheesecake; Key Lime Pie; Warm Apple Crostada; Chocolate Wave; or Brownie Overboard.
Red Robin – On Nov. 11, veterans and active duty military will receive a free Red’s Tavern Double Burger with bottomless steak fries.
Sonny’s Barbecue – On Nov. 11, veterans and active duty military with valid ID will receive a free Pulled or Sliced Pork Big Deal combo; dine-in only.
TCBY – Veterans and active duty military will receive the first 6oz. of yogurt free on Nov. 11.
Texas de Brazil – Veterans and active duty personnel will receive 50 percent off regular dinner pricing on Nov. 11.
Texas Roadhouse – Veterans and active duty military can get a free lunch from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Shoney’s – Veterans receive free all you care to eat Breakfast Bar on Nov. 11 until 11 a.m.
Sizzler – Vets are getting a free lunch at Sizzler.
Starbucks – Veterans, active duty service members and spouses can enjoy a free tall hot brewed coffee (12 oz) on Nov. 11.
Texas Roadhouse – Veterans and active duty military can enjoy a free lunch on Nov. 11 at Texas Roadhouse. Offer good from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. off special menu of 10 entrée choices.
White Castle – Active and retired military personnel can get a free Combo Meal (#1 through #6) or Breakfast Combo. All you have to do is flash your military ID.
Bed, Bath & Beyond – Bed Bath & Beyond is offering VetReward subscribers with 25 percent off their purchases for shopping on Nov. 11.
Goodyear Auto Service and Just Tire – Goodyear Auto Service and Just Tire locations nationwide will offer military members free car care checks and tire installation. The free car care checks include checks on tires, brakes, alignment, battery, wiper blades and shocks and struts.
Kohl’s – On Monday, Nov. 11, Kohl’s is doubling its Military Monday discount for all active and former military personnel and their families by offering a 30 percent off in-store discount. Kohl’s typically offering a 15 percent in-store discount on Military Mondays.
Publix – Publix is offering veterans, active military personnel and their families 10 percent discount on Veterans Day.
SportsClips – Some SportsClips locations are offering free haircuts to service members and veterans – check here for participating stores and store hours.
World of Coca Cola – Military members – active duty, reserves and retirees – can visit the World of Coca Cola free of charge year-round. Through Nov. 11, members of the armed forces can purchase up to four half-price general admission tickets. Tickets may be purchased with a valid Armed Forces ID card at the attraction’s ticketing windows