Although Veterans Day is meant to be an occasion to solemnly reflect on the sacrifices made by those men and women who have served in our nation’s military, it seems to me that this holiday has gotten caught in the rip current of Christmas. It’s a little sad, but perhaps our collective focus on veterans (dead and alive) during celebrations related to Memorial Day and Independence Day help show our appreciation and gratitude.

If you’re a veteran (Thank You!), or want to spend this weekend honoring American veterans, here are some options to consider:

Tennessee State Parks – to honor Tennessee’s veterans on Veterans Day, the Department of Environment and Conservation waives camping and golf greens fees for veterans who are residents of the state. To take advantage of the “free day,” present proof of Tennessee residency and veteran status.

Dunbar Cave State Park – on November 11, Dunbar Cave State Park in Clarksville, TN is holding a two-mile Veterans Day Hike, beginning at 1:00 pm outside the park’s Visitor Center. The program is free, but advance registration is encouraged. Contact Ranger Adam Neblett at adam.neblett@tn.gov.

Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area – This beautiful area, straddling the Kentucky/Tennessee border, joins other federal agencies in honoring veterans with free admission on Veterans Day weekend, November 10-12. Although it’s a little early in the season, bald eagles frequently winter at Kentucky Lake – take your binoculars just in case!

Veterans Day Events – This is not an all-inclusive list, but the following towns and cities in our area are planning observations:

Clarksville, TN

Saturday, November 11

Ceremonies 9:00 am;

Parade 10:00 am

Ceremonies and parade review stand at Third St. side of the historic courthouse in downtown Clarksville

Nashville, TN

Saturday, November 11

Staging begins at 9:30 am

Parade begins at 11:00 am

Downtown Nashville at 14th and Broadway

Nolensville, TN

Saturday, November 11

Lineup at 10:00 am

Parade begins at 11:00 am

Lineup on Oldham Drive – the parade route ends at the Nolensville ball fields.

Murfreesboro, TN

Friday, November 10

Veterans Day Memorial Service begins at 11:00 am

Murfreesboro Public Square

Franklin, TN

Friday, November 10

Reception for veterans begins at 9:00 am

Parade begins at 11:00 am

Reception at Williamson County Archives

Parade begins at West Main and Fifth Avenue.

 

Free Meals – Nothing says “Thank You” like a free meal – according to the website “militarybenefits.info”, the following restaurants are among those offering specials to veterans on designated day(s) during Veterans Day weekend. Be prepared to show ID:

  • Denny’s – all active, inactive and retired military personnel will receive a free Build Your Own Grand Slam breakfast on Friday, November 10, from 5 a.m. to noon.
  • Firebirds Wood Fired Grill – dine with a veteran or active duty service member on Friday, November 10, and their lunch or dinner entrée is free! (Free entrée equal to or less than one purchased.)
  • IHOP – all active duty and retired veterans are invited to enjoy free Red, White, & Blue Pancakes on Friday, November 10.
  • Fazoli’s – all active duty, inactive and retired military personnel receive a free spaghetti with marinara or meat sauce, November 10-12.
  • Applebee’s – veterans and active duty military can select a free meal from a limited menu on November 11.
  • Back Yard Burgers – military veterans and active duty service members (in uniform) can enjoy a free Classic Burger on November 11.
  • Bar Louie – vets and active military receive a free flatbread or burger on November 11.
  • Bonanza Steakhouse – all former and current military service men and women enjoy a free buffet (beverage not included) at participating Bonanza locations on November 11.
  • Bruegger’s Bagels – U.S. military veterans and active military members can receive a free small drip coffee on November 11.
  • Buffalo Wild Wings – all day on November 11, veterans and active duty military who dine-in can receive one free small order of traditional or boneless wings and a side of fries.
  • California Pizza Kitchen – on November 11, all veterans or active duty military personnel will be able to select a free entrée from a special menu.
  • Cracker Barrel Old Country Store – veterans receive a complimentary Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola® Cake dessert on November 11.
  • Dunkin’ Donuts – on November 11, veterans and active duty military can enjoy a free donut; no purchase necessary.
  • Famous Dave’s – on November 11, all former and current military personnel will receive a free two-meat combo.
  • Krystal – on November 11, all active and retired military can receive a complimentary sausage biscuit during breakfast hours (6-11 am)
  • Macaroni Grill – free Mom’s Ricotta Meatballs & Spaghetti entrée on November 11 to all veterans and active military.
  • O’Charley’s – free entrée from the $9.99 menu to active duty service members and veterans on November 11.
  • Outback Steakhouse – all active, retired military and veterans get a free Bloomin’ Onion® and a beverage on November 11. Also, military members get a 20% discount November 12-16.
  • Red Lobster – veterans, active duty and reservists get a free appetizer or dessert from a select Veterans Day menu on November 11.
  • Ruby Tuesday – on November 11, all former and active duty service members can enjoy a free appetizer.
  • Shoney’s – free All You Care to Eat breakfast on November 11 from 6am – 11am to veterans and active duty military.
  • Texas Roadhouse – on November 11, veterans can select from a free special lunch menu, including a beverage and sides.
  • TGI Fridays – guests showing valid military ID can enjoy a free lunch menu item up to $12 on November 11, between 11am – 2pm.
  • White Castle – military veterans and active duty military can receive a free breakfast combo or Castle Combo meal (#1 – #6) on November 11.

 

However you choose to spend your weekend, don’t forget to show your appreciation to those who have served our country!

 

 

Written by Margaret

Sounds Like Fun - Nashville is a labor of love - my love for Music City, Middle Tennessee, and experiencing the best that our area has to offer. In recent years, I've developed an informal following among my friends and professional colleagues. People ask me what I've got planned for an upcoming weekend – or seek advice about good activities for showing visiting friends or relatives around the Nashville/Middle Tennessee area. Even though there are other sites with event calendars, I think followers of my blog can expect some extra insight into goings-on that would suit ‘most anyone seeking to experience the diversity of fun and interesting things to do around town. I'm always on the look-out for good places to walk my dog. Maggie is a 10-year-old mixed breed shelter dog who still becomes comically ecstatic when she sees me pick up a leash. She's my inspiration to start a page featuring great dog walks around Nashville.

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