Veterans Day 2015: What’s Open, What’s Closed, And Who’s Giving Out Free Meals For Vets?

Veterans Day is observed on November 11, 2015, and not only are people across the nation trying to find out what’s open and what’s closed on the federal holiday, veterans and active members of the U.S. Military are wondering where they get get a free or discounted meal on Wednesday.

Whether you have the holiday off or not, you may be wondering if banks are open, if there is mail delivery, or if stores like Walmart and Target are open. Here’s the scoop on what you will find open on Wednesday as well as a list of Veterans Day restaurant freebies and deals offered on a day that honors those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Many people will be talking about getting a much-needed day off or hitting the Veterans Day sales (yes, most retail stores are open) on Wednesday. However, before you hit the mall, if you know a veteran or have a friend or family member serving in the military, let them know how thankful you are that they are serving our country. If you can’t call or visit, American Greetings has free Veterans Day e-cards available that you can send by email, or you can simply post a thoughtful quote on Facebook or Twitter to honor the vets in your social network.

What’s open on Veterans Day?

Most retail stores, restaurants, supermarkets, and liquor stores will be open on Wednesday. However, if you need to ship a package or are expecting an important piece of mail, the United States Office of Personnel Management reports that all post office branches will be closed on November 11.

Unlike other federal holidays, there are several banks open on Veterans Day, but the list is short. Most banks — including Bank of America, Chase, and Wells Fargo — will close their doors on the federal holiday. However, GoBankingRates reports that most branches of American Chartered Bank and U.S. Bank will be open, and all TD Bank branches will be open regular business hours on November 11.

All federal offices, including the IRS and Social Security offices, will be closed on Wednesday. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs states that state and local governments, including schools and libraries, are not required to close on Veterans Day, but most choose to close down to observe the holiday. In recent years, most state offices, such as the Department of Motor Vehicles, opted to close, but it’s always best to call ahead to be sure.

Which Restaurants Are Offering Free Meals For Veterans?

Every year on Veterans Day, dozens of popular chain restaurants, including Olive Garden, Applebee’s, TGI Fridays, Boston Market, Golden Corral, and Cracker Barrel offer free meals, appetizers, and/or desserts to veterans and active members of the U.S. Military.

Most offers are valid on Wednesday, November 11, and almost all restaurants require proof of service, including a U.S. Uniform Services Identification Card, U.S. Uniform Services Retired Identification Card, Current Leave and Earnings Statement, or a Veterans Organization Card.

The Military Wallet offers a comprehensive list of Veterans Day restaurant freebies that is updated on a regular basis. Here are some of the most popular restaurants from the list — some require a coupon and most are available to both veterans and active U.S. Military.

Head to your local Red Lobster and snag a free appetizer or dessert from November 9–12.

Expect a wait at Applebee’s — this popular restaurant is offering one free meal from a menu of seven entrees on November 12.

Bring a friend or relative to Spaghetti Warehouse for their “Veterans Day Buy One, Get One Free” that runs from November 9–11.

If you are a buffet fan, head to Golden Corral between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. on November 11 and get a free meal and beverage.

Go grab a free dessert at Cracker Barrel on Wednesday. The chain’s Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake is free if you are a veteran.

Breakfast anyone? Bob Evans is offering a free breakfast from a special menu. IHOP‘s Veterans Day freebie is a serving of Red, White, and Blue pancakes between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on November 12.

[Photo by Joe Raedle / Getty Images News]