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Land of the Free: Memorial Day freebies, discounts for vets, active military


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On Memorial Day, we honor those who have so honored us with their service and sacrifice to keep America strong and free.

Hundreds of retailers and restaurants also salute the military, offering discounts to veterans, active duty and retired U.S. military, National Guard and reservists. In some cases, spouses and families members are included, too.

Many military discounts aren’t publicized, so be sure to ask if one available before making a purchase or dining and have your military identification so you can take advantage of the deal.

Home Depot: Veterans and immediate families can get 10 percent off purchases with a maximum discount up to $500 on Monday with some restrictions. The discount also is available to vets on Independence, Labor and Veterans Day. Active duty, career and disabled vets and reservist guards and family can get the discounts every day.

Lowe’s: Same deal as Home Depot, above.

Butterfly World: Veterans and active-duty military with ID get in free at the Coconut Creek attraction through Monday. That's a $24.95 value.

Blue Star Museum Program: Free entry to 1,600 museums for active-duty military and their families beginning Memorial Day through Sept. 3.

Apple’s Federal Government & Military Employee Purchase Program: Get discounts from 4 percent to 9 percent on Apple products. Call 877-377-6362 for details.

Hooters: Get 10 free wings for veterand and active duty military with ID on Monday at participating Central and South Florida restaurants.

GM Military Discount: General Motors offers savings of up to $500 on most Chevrolet, Buick and GMC vehicles in what it claims is “the best military discount from any car company.” The offer is for active duty members, reserves and retirees and spouses.

National Parks Pass: Active military personnel and their dependents can get a free annual pass to U.S. National Parks and Fish and Wildlife Service sites. Those 62 and older can get a lifetime Seniors Pass for free entrance to more than 2,000 parks for $10.

Jo-Ann Fabric: 20 percent discount on Friday-Monday for past or present members of the armed forcesand their families on regular, sale and clearance
items with ID.

Disney's Armed Forces Salute: Walt Disney World is offering active and retired members of the U.S. military, Coast Guart, National Guard and Reservists and spouses may buy up to six 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets for $138 each. Tickets must be purchased at U.S. military sales outlets, not at the gate. Plus, get up to 40 percent off at Disney Resorts by calling 407-939-7830. Offers expire Sept. 30.

Anheuser-Busch Here’s to the Heroes: This program offers free admission for active military and up to three direct dependents to SeaWorld Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and other theme parks through Dec. 31.

Three ways to keep up with the latest deals: "Like" our Sentinel Deals page on Facebook; follow Doreen Christensen on Twitter@PrettyGoodIdeas and sign up for Deals text alerts.

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About the authors
Doreen Christensen has never paid full price for anything. If there is a way to save on something, she will find it and share how you can save, too. Doreen is a senior reporter covering consumer news, health, beauty and features for the online and print editions of the Sun Sentinel. A 32-year veteran of the newspaper, she previously was a senior copy editor on the universal copy desk. Doreen spends her time off hunting bargains, clipping coupons, gardening and traveling.

Justine Griffin covers retail and marine business for the Sun Sentinel. She is a Tampa Bay native who graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2010. After spending a year covering crime in St. Augustine, Fla., she moved to Fort Lauderdale and made the switch to business journalism. When she’s not writing, she’s riding horses and spending time with her whippet puppy, Josie.

Marcia Heroux Pounds is the Sun Sentinel's workplace columnist when she's not shopping for shoes. She also writes about small business, which allows her to visit many of South Florida's unique shops and boutiques.

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