Veterans: You proudly served (or continue to serve) our country.
Now local businesses aim to give back, and other events are commemorating military service. We’ve rounded up the best deals for veterans in the Salem-Keizer area. Note that many require some proof of service.
See and do
• The Afghan-Iraqi Freedom Memorial at the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs plays host to a tribute at 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11. Names of those recently killed while serving in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom will be unveiled. It’s at 700 Summer Street NE.
• The Salem Kroc Center has free admission all day Friday, Nov. 11, to all veterans with military ID or DD124 between 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Free lunch for the first 150 veterans through the door. The event also includes free scuba lessons for vets and an employment and well-being fair for current and former military personnel. Veterans and currently-enlisted can sign up for membership with the $75 registration fee waived.
• The National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Reclamation are waiving entry and parking fees at sites nationwide all weekend, Nov. 11-13. Other fees may still apply.
• Willamette Master Chorus offers two veterans concerts: One in Albany at the First Assembly of God on Friday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. and the other in Salem at 3 p.m. in Smith Auditorium on the Willamette University campus. It’s $12 for veterans, $5 for students and $20 general admission.
• Salem Masonic Lodge has a Saturday, Nov. 12, tribute to veterans, complete with free meal and Norwegian songs performed by Karen Blix and Silver Chruickshank Sorenson. Please bring a dish to share for potluck dinner. The lodge is at 1625 Brush College Road NW, and the event is coordinated by Sons of Norway.
• Salem Pops Orchestra plans a tribute to veterans with its “A Pops Evening with David Klinkenberg” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, at the Historic Elsinore Theatre in Salem. The first half is a veterans’ tribute. Tickets are $18 for mezzanine reserved seating, and $15 for general admission.
• In Albany, a parade dubbed as the biggest Veterans Day parade west of the Mississippi River kicks off at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 11.
Eat and drink
• Local Subway sub shops are offering free six-inch sandwiches or flatbread on Friday, Nov. 11. UPDATED: Please call ahead; not all Subways have this offer.
• Center 50+ is hosting “A Patriotic Salute to Our Veterans” from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11. Free lunch for veterans. Includes ceremony with posting of colors and live music.
• Applebee’s locations nationwide are giving away the vet’s choice of seven entrees on Friday. Nov. 11. Beverages and tip are not included.
• The Salem Elks Lodge has free lunch from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., and $5 for non-veterans. Salem Elks are at 2336 Turner Road SE.
• Outback Steakhouse has a free Bloomin’ Onion and a soda for veterans through Friday, Nov. 11.
• The Willamette Queen sternwheeler has a $10 lunch cruise for veterans. Normal price is $22. Reservations required by calling 503-371-1103.. It docks at 200 Water Street NE in Salem.
• Salem Community Acupuncture has complimentary treatments for active duty military members and their families, National Guard and Reserve members along with military veterans. Mention the affiliation while scheduling by calling 503-798-2918.
• Kindermusik offers classes to children of active service or veteran military at cost.
• Tony’s Kingdom of Comics is offering 15 percent off to vets on Veterans Day. The store offers 10 percent off daily.
• Lowe’s and Home Depot both offer 10 percent discounts to military personnel.