By Patricia L Johnson
It wasn’t that many years ago I remember having a discussion with the manager of our local box store. I’d gone into the store to pick up some cards and come to find out they didn’t carry any. I’d like to say this was 50 or 60 years ago, but it wasn’t, it’s only been in the last 10 years. I absolutely could not believe this store had a card celebrating every holiday known to mankind, but didn’t have one, not a single card celebrating this particular day.
When I came home that evening I remembered I had just received a new catalog from one of the mail order houses and I thought, super, I’ll just order something from them so I went through the catalog from beginning to end only to be disappointed once again. This time I sent a complaint to Customer Service and was advised by return e-mail they would refer my complaint to someone else as they simply had not received any requests for the items I wanted.
“Items I wanted” – the words kept repeating themselves over and over in my head. I wasn’t looking for anything that “I” personally wanted; I was looking for something that should have been available at every single store in the nation, in various shapes, colors and sizes. I was looking for a Veteran’s Day card. Generally I make my own greeting cards, but this particular year I wanted something a little ‘different’.
I had attempted to purchase Veteran’s Day cards before, but this was after we went to war with both Afghanistan and Iraq and I thought okay, this is the year. This is the year the dingbats running the show will finally recognize the sacrifices being made and acknowledge our veterans.
For as long as I can recall I have always made Veteran’s Day special for my husband by making a favorite meal, or buying a little cake or just purchasing a little gift. Just something to let him know we remembered the day and were thankful for his service to our country.
According to the Veteran Population Projection Model 2011, as of September 30, 2012 there are 22.3 million veterans projected to still be living, broken down as follows:
Thankfully, the past five years have seen a major turnaround in how retailers view vets. Many major restaurants and stores are recognizing the need to honor both our Veterans and our active military personnel by offering discounts and freebies, not only on Veteran’s Day, but sometimes throughout the year.
I want to say that Golden Coral was the first to provide a free meal to veterans and Applebee’s was second, but I don’t have any way of proving that so I’ll just say they both took the lead. Since then numerous others have jumped on the bandwagon; especially within the past few years. A partial listing of participants in 2012 activities follows:
A partial listing of stores that offered a Veteran’s Day discount in 2012 also follows: Home Depot, Lowe’s and Big Lots. In addition discounts were provided at hotels, for car wash’s, for haircuts, oil changes and at various recreational facilities.
In most instances there are restrictions. Some restaurants offer the meals on Veteran’s Day only, some during the entire weekend, and some for only a few hours on a specific day. Check with your local restaurant for dates, times and individual requirements necessary for ‘proof of service’.
The listing for 2013 has not been completed as yet, but when it is it will be posted at the following site:
Do I love the companies listed above? You betcha! Our Veterans make sacrifices every day they are in service and in some instances, every day of their return. I would be thrilled if they just put a flyer in the window saying “Thank You” and wishing these men and women a happy day, but these companies go above and beyond and actually try to do something to make a difference, if only for one day.
Veteran’s Day is a Federal holiday and children are off school for the day and many businesses are closed down for the day, but too few people actually celebrate the day by giving thanks to those that served.
© 2013 Patricia L Johnson