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COMMENTARY

We salute you: A guide to Veterans Day freebies

Samantha Christmann

When it comes to the sacrifices military families make to protect our country and way of life, a food freebie is the least we can do. But it's a nice way for companies to thank past and present service members.

Several restaurants will offer complimentary fare Monday to active duty and veteran military members.

Each deal requires proof of service, such as a military or VA-issued card, or discharge papers. A gratuity is not included.

Ilio DiPaolo's. Since the restaurant is closed on Monday, it will offer its tribute Tuesday instead. Veterans and active military will receive a free Veloce Lunch Buffet from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Tops Markets. The Amherst-based grocer has one of the most generous offers this year, as usual. Veterans and active duty military will receive an 11% discount on their total bill on Monday, and so will members of their immediate family. The discount is available at every Tops location.

The Grapevine Restaurant. The Amherst eatery will offer veterans and active-duty military a free entree Monday, and 10% off every check during the month of November (except Nov. 28).

American Grille. Active duty military and veterans will receive a burger and fries Monday. It's located at 7901 Seneca St. in East Aurora.

Craft Coffee House. This veteran-owned and operated business will offer free drip coffee to active duty and veteran military on Veterans Day. Veterans also get 10% off their total check every day. It's at 6535 Campbell Blvd. in Pendleton.

Thunder Falls Buffet at Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino will offer a free buffet for veterans and active duty military from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday. The same deal is offered every third Wednesday during the same hours.

Buffalo Trim. Current and former military will receive a free haircut Sunday and Monday at all Buffalo Trim locations. There are stores in Amherst, East Amherst, Williamsville and Blasdell.

Anderson's. On Monday, veterans and active duty military personnel will receive a free two-scoop ice cream or a free medium frozen custard cone. The freebie is available all day.

Wegmans. The Market Café will offer either Stuffed French Toast with Mascarpone and Berries or a breakfast quiche; bacon, sausage, breakfast potatoes, diced fruit and coffee. It's available to veterans and active duty military from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Texas Roadhouse. Veterans and active military will receive a free lunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday. They'll have a special menu to choose from (a 6-ounce sirloin steak is one option), and it will include two sides plus a choice of drink.  It has locations at 900 Young St. in the Town of Tonawanda and 3755 Union Road in Cheektowaga.

Cracker Barrel. Active duty and veteran military can get their sweet tooth on for free Monday. You can choose from a Pumpkin Pie Latte (available hot or iced) or a slice of Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake. It's located on Transit Road in Clarence.

Applebee's will have a special menu of free entrees for veterans and active duty military Monday. Among the seven choices are a 6-ounce sirloin, Double Crunch Shrimp and a Chicken Tenders Platter. Participating are locations in Amherst, Batavia, Buffalo, Blasdell, Cheektowaga, Lancaster, Dunkirk, Jamestown, Lockport, Niagara Falls, Olean, West Seneca and Williamsville.

Red Lobster. Veterans and active duty military can choose one free appetizer or dessert from a special menu Monday. The selection of appetizers includes such options as Parrot Isle Jumbo Coconut Shrimp and Lobster and Langostino Pizza. The dessert options include Vanilla Bean Cheesecake and Key Lime Pie. Unlike most offers, this one is available for to-go orders that are picked up in the restaurant.

Red Lobster has locations on Maple Road in Amherst, near McKinley Mall in Hamburg, on Transit Road in Amherst and on East Fairmont Avenue in Lakewood. Menus may vary by location.

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