Friday, December 9, 2011

This bloody, bloody war

We're on a countdown to the end of the Iraq war, but almost  no one seems to notice.

Nine years of war: what has it cost us?  What have we gained?

In lives: As of today, 4801 coalition forces have been killed, 4483 of them U.S. military members.  Official estimates say 32,200 have been injured, but some estimates put that number closer to 100,000.  Many of those injuries are brain injuries and amputations that will affect those injured for the rest of their lives.

On the Iraqi side, more than 100,000 civilian deaths have been documented, but Just Foreign Policy, Lancet and other place the number at more than a million.  The number of injured is undocumented.

In money: The official tally stands at $800 billion-- that's $3000 a second—for the duration of the war.  These are direct costs, however, and don't include the cost of replacing equipment, vehicles and weapons, and the cost of providing health care and other benefits for veterans.  That could push the cost to about $4 trillion.

I won't put all the blame for the recession on the war, but, in these times, can you imagine the number of jobs that could have been created with that money? 

What have we gained?   Only the most cynical would say that the fall of dictator Saddam Hussein justifies what we have lost.  A few might claim that Iraq paved the way for the Arab Spring, but I'd be more inclined to say that the people would have overthrown Hussein  themselves by now.  

Can anyone think of even one other benefit from this bloody, bloody war?

Anti-war activists called this war before it happened.  We saw the handwriting on the wall on 9/11, we tried to stop it and when we couldn't, we tried to bring it to an early end, and we couldn't do that, either.  the last few years the energy of the anti-war movement has been sapped by a misguided faith in Barack Obama.   Maybe we're just tired.  Or maybe we're coming to believe that everything must change before there can be no more wars.   

For more than nine years, Arise has vigiled every Monday at noon in front of the Federal Building in Springfield. We've had a half dozen major demonstrations there, joined by anti-war activists from around the Valley.  On snowy or rainy days, maybe the numbers get as low as four, but usually there's a dozen or more people.   We'll mark the end of this war in some way before the end of the year.  But we will continue to vigil.

There's still Afghanistan.

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Five years in prison for being gay

From In November, two gay men in Cameroon were sentenced to five years in prison simply for being gay, the harshest penalty allowed under Cameroonian law. During the trial, according to the AFP, the judge issued some particularly homophobic comments, leading one lawyer to call the trial “a bad ruling,” and leading Amnesty International to label these men as “prisoners of conscience.”
The sentence comes on the heels of increased homophobia in Cameroon, and debates over legislation that would further criminalize homosexuality in the country. Human rights attorney Alice Nkom told that “Violence against gay people in Cameroon has skyrocketed to unprecedented levels: the situation is quickly becoming a crisis. The president of Cameroon can put a stop to this, and if he feels enough pressure he will do so.”
Help send a message to Cameroon that the world is watching, and won’t stand silent while people are sentenced to jail solely because of their sexual orientation. Demand the release of these gay men from prison. Print Friendly and PDF

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Shout Out for Out Now, Arise and NOL from prison!

Holly got the following letter at home.....these expressions of appreciation are what makes it all worthwhile.

  I’d like to begin this letter by introducing myself to you.  I’m 36 years old, Caucasian, male and I was born and raised in between Springfield and  W. Springfield and Chicopee.  Having an alcohol issue since the age of 13 has led me to a life of being in jails and institutions.  I’m not a stalker or a rapist or anything crazy like that.  I drink too much and hit people.  I’ve never been arrested sober in my life.  I’ve just remained angry at the judicial system because instead of getting me help they’ve just locked me up over and over.  But I got them this time cuz I’ve helped myself.  It’s simple, just don’t drink.  I’m a father to a 13 year old boy who has been battling cancer since 3.  He’s doing great right now.  His mother and I were together for 15 years, decided to get married, after 5 months of marriage we divorced and have decided to go our separate ways.  I apologize if I’m giving too much info I just want you to know I’m a normal person…
            So I was reading the republican and came across your name and info for getting arrested at the protests.  Shame on you (smiley face), just kidding. I’ve been in prison for 4 ½ years (I see parole in February) and I think it’s a shame what is happening with the people in our country.  People are homeless and starving but the government would rather spend money rebuilding foreign countries.  Excuse me if I’m totally off track but I have elder parents who have worked their entire lives, they’ve retired now but still have to work part time just to make ends meet.  Recently my father has fallen ill and he’s unable to work.  The bills are piling up and his insurance doesn’t cover all his medications and they cannot get assistance anywhere.
            All this brings me to the purpose for this letter.  I admire you and envy you for putting yourself out there to make a stand for yourself and those who are unable to make a stand for themselves.  Being in prison is somewhat similar because if we do not stand up for our rights we’d be abused mentally and physically on a daily basis.  And it’s good people like you who are standing up for my parents right now due to my absence.  And for that I thank you.  Honestly, I’d like to see this country protest the way some of these other countries do, minus the violence and death.  Though my family isn’t being kicked out of their home my heart goes out to all of those who are going through this struggle.
            So I hope my point has been made.  My appreciation for what you’ve done, your sacrifice.  Though I do not know you I will keep you in my prayers.  If your legal issues become problematic please contact me.  Over the years I’ve learned a bit about the law.
Your friend.
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Monday, December 5, 2011

Kids get poisoned by lead-- but funding gets cut

Nearly half the housing in Massachusetts is likely to have lead paint.  New studies have shown that lead poisoning damages children at much smaller amounts than previously documented.

But the federal government is about to eliminate the remaining funding for lead poisoning prevention, and Massachusetts is very unlikely to be able to make up the difference.  Read more at Boston Globe.

Last year Massachusetts had thirteen employees working in lead-poisoning prevention programs.  This year, we have three.  What will next year bring?

What can you do as the parent of a child who may be at risk?   If you're renting, ask the potential landlord if the apartment has a lead certificate.  And ask your pediatrician to test your child, and test regularly.  Looks like we're on our own for the indefinite future. Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, December 2, 2011

Rally for clean air tomorrow!

Local Residents Rally to Ask Governor Patrick to Stand Up For Strong Clean Air Protections

Biomass is not a clean energy solution for air quality issues in Massachusetts

Springfield – On Saturday, December 3rd, the Sierra Club Beyond Coal campaign will be hosting a Clean Air Rally in front of Gov. Patrick’s offices in Springfield. Several dozen public health professionals and local activists will be calling on the Governor and the Department of Environmental Protection to protect our health and our air by retiring aging coal plants and looking at alternatives to dirty biomass incinerators in Central and Western Massachusetts. The activists will display 1,000 petitions calling on the governor for stronger pollution safeguards and announcing our 80 business coalition partners. In addition to listed speakers, local residents will be delivering testimonials, all speaking as to why we need to move beyond coal in the Pioneer Valley and how we can do it.
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We haven't forgotten about war

Yesterday I was quite giddy about this news of the Merkley amendment passing the Senate on a voice vote. The very day before the Senate -- to their great discredit -- had added dangerous new powers to the Military in the ever-escalating war on terrorism.

Where did my giddiness come from? I have found these last couple of days to be very upsetting ones in terms of U.S. war policy. Monday morning began with our local paper's front page announcement of a local National Guard contingent of engineers being sent off to Afghanistan for the next year. Their assignment? To clear roads of explosive devices. Will they come back to us? Will their bodies and their minds be whole?

Adding to my upset was knowing that every day the U.S. Senate was on the verge of passing on an obscene War Budget of nearly $ 700,000,000,000 for just one fiscal year. All dedicated to Killing -- or the Threat of killing -- to keep our top-dog position throughout the planet.

Then came the whopper. Embedded in the War Budget was a more frightening commitment to an already out-of-control escalated Anti-Terrorism policy (and what is that stipulation doing in a $$$ appropriation bill anyhow? Is there no Rules Committee in the Senate?) But it came to the floor and passed with 61 votes! The U.S. Senate moved a little closer to facism where THE U.S. MILITARY can summarily pick up a suspected terrorist & be her/his police, prosecutor, judge, and jury, putting a person away secretly and pretty much forever. The MILITARY in charge in this country. How is this different from the situation in Egypt? -- is the question I've been flinging about all week.
A lot of us were despondent.
So when I looked at the computer after dinner and saw that the Merkley Amendment had passed by a voice vote, I was astonished and delighted.
By the time I went to bed still trying to process all this, I was left with two explanations. The Senate needs a cover-up, a sop to what they will be about today (thursday) when the entire $ 600+ Blllion comes up for a vote. We citizens may well see them do what they've done before -- admonish the Pentagon and the President about the Wars one day, and then turn around the next day and vote all the money requested to execute the same wars.
I was still restless before I fell asleep. Where was this next thought coming from? Is it possible to look deeper, back into the younger days of some of these hapless Senators? Did they once glimpse what world peace, what the public good, etc. could look like? Was there an element of altruism in the voice vote yesterday afternoon?
These men and women, these Senators, so caught up in corruption on a scale never before possible in a governing body in all of history, may occasionally have a moment of collective recognition about the loss of youthful idealism. I suppose I'm thinking of the confused senior senator from my state, John Kerry, whom I often give up on, while still having a need to explain his thought processes to myself.
Is there a way to appeal to the traces of altruism in some of these Senators, instead of just denouncing them ? Still retaining the piercing insight we in the anti-war movement bring to the scene, I was wondering if I could add just a pinch of forgiveness for the human frailty of people with too much power which derives from too much money from too many unbearably ugly corporate connections in our society and the lies necessary to cover them.
What will happen today? Same old same old, most likely. How do we influence that? Drawing on the new energy of the Occupy movement and on our own inner resources and on the community we create as a movement, we can infuse our own overstressed bodies and brains and the organizations we work within to figure it out together and keep on struggling and doing what we do.
-- Sally Weiss, PDA End War and Occupations Print Friendly and PDF

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bury my heart at Wounded Knee - Walela

Images twenty-one and a hundred and twenty-one years old....and still familiar. Print Friendly and PDF

Transgender Equal Rights bill signed today!

Governor Deval Patrick Expected to Sign Transgender Equal Rights Bill Today, Public Signing To Be Held in Near Future

Today, Governor Deval Patrick is expected to sign the Transgender Equal Rights Bill privately, as he has just a 10-day window in which to sign bills into law. The bill was passed by the legislature last week. A public signing ceremony will be scheduled for a future date. The law will take effect on July 1, 2012.

“Governor Patrick has been a vocal supporter of the Transgender Equal Rights Bill since the bill was first filed in 2007” said Gunner Scott, executive director of the Mass. Transgender Political Coalition. “We applaud the Governor because he has been a staunch advocate in recognizing the transgender community and leader in getting this bill passed.”

Gov. Patrick was a vocal proponent of the Transgender Equal Rights Bill, advocating, he has submitted written testimony in support of the bill at all three public hearings. Last February, he signed an executive order prohibiting discrimination against transgender people in state employment, which reaches 43,500 executive branch employees and 13,500 state contractors.

In 2008, Gov. Patrick appointed the first transgender person, Diego Sanchez, to a Democratic National Committee standing committee. Diego Sanchez is a former co-chair of MTPC and has since gone on to work as the first out transgender legislative staffer for Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.).

MTPC thanks the members of the Transgender Equal Rights Coalition for all of their efforts in passingAn Act Relative to Transgender Equal Rights.” Some of the 104 members of the coalition include  MassEquality, MassNOW; ACLU of Massachusetts; Jane Doe, Inc., The Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence; National Association of Social Workers, MA; Mass AFL-CIO; Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders; Mass Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus; Jobs with Justice; the Interfaith Coalition for Transgender Equality; and Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition.

The House voted 95-58, and the House vote tally is here: The Senate passed the bill on a voice vote (see MTPC Senate co-sponsor list).

MTPC encourages all community members to thank the Representatives and Senators that voted for the bill and most especially, the lead sponsors, Representative Carl Sciortino & Byron Rushing, and Senators Ben Downing, and Sonia Chang-Diaz; the legislature's leadership House Speaker Robert Deleo and Senate President Therese Murray; and especially, Governor Deval Patrick.

MTPC will alert community members to the date and location of the public signing ceremony so community members may attend and MTPC plans to hold an additional community event on or about the same day to share in this historic moment.
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Today's march: young people fight foreclosure

Much more to say about today's Springfield No One Leaves and Bank Tenant Association's march against the banks, but this video by Kelly Creedon taken at the morning rally tells us why we fight and why, with youth like these, we can have hope.

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

March on Wall St. Banks omorrow! Right here in Springfield!

From the Springfield No One Leaves Coalition: 



We’re gearing up for the biggest action yet here in Springfield. Along with our brothers and sisters in 9 different cities throughout New England join us to march on the Wall St. Banks in downtown Springfield! Folks have committed to turning out from all over the region – from hartford to providence, and Boston to the Berkshires! We can’t sit on the side while banks continue to destroy our communities — its time to STAND UP & FIGHT BACK! 
This action will culminate in a non-violent peaceful act of civil disobedience in downtown Springfield – please respect the guidelines of Springfield No One Leaves & the Regional Bank Tenant Alliance


11 AM - Gather & Training for March Peace Keepers (if your interested in volunteering, please e-mail us)
11:30 AM - Rally in front of foreclosed & vacant homes w/ Bank Tenant Speakers, Springfield Youth and more!

If you are interested in setting up for the march or being a peacekeeper for the march, please arrive by 10:30 AM
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Friday, November 18, 2011

Tea Party, Scott Lively picket Arise while Occupy Springfield pickets them right back!

Today the Stop the Hate and Homophobia Coalition, along with Occupy Springfield, spoke out against homophobia in Springfield with a march up State St., a stop outside Commerce High School for a "people's mic," and a demonstration outside Scott Lively's Holy Ground Coffee House, only a few doors down from Arise.  .  But before our folks got up to Lively's, I looked out the storefront window to see three or four Tea Party members picketing in front, carrying American flags and holding signs that said "Trust Jesus" and "Arise Lies!"

Tea party members have shown up at every Occupy Springfield event but I wonder if today they found themselves with strange bedfellows.  Are Tea Party members homophobes?  I wouldn't have automatically thought so...

Lively's group was handing out flyers to passerbys with big red letters at the top and bottom saying, "Arise Lies" and "Tell Arise to Apologize!"  I won't type the whole thing, but a few lines should give you the feel and I'll add a few comments (and the bizarre punctuation, which I will replicate, is theirs, not mine):

Arise for Social Justice is a Marxist Front Group that Hates Biblical Truth and Persecutes Bible-Believing Christians.  (I wonder if the Christians in Arise feel persecuted?)

Like the Communists of Soviet Russia, and their Fellow Traveler Saul Alinsky, Arise uses Lies and Deceptive Propaganda to Destroy Their Enemies.  (Wow!  Didn't know we had that much power!  Usually we just go for the systemic change approach.)

Arise has Promised to Drive Pastor Scott Lively Out of Springfield because he Holds to Biblical Truth About Homosexuality.  (Completely wrong on this one.  Just like the radioactive material in a decommissioned nuclear power plant, we would much prefer for Lively to remain in our community where we can keep an eye on him.)

Arise LIED to Portray Pastor Lively as a Heartless Monster and put his personal Safety At Risk.

So let me stop right here on this line because while today's event had its humorous moments, homophobia is deadly serious.  Lively's safety at risk?  The hate crime statistics for 2010 were released just three days ago, and according to the figures, " roughly 1.5% of all hate crimes in the United States in 2010 were against Christians while 19% were against gays. That means that lesbians, gays, and bisexuals were more than twelve times likely to be the victim of a hate crime than a Christian."  LezGet Real.  And of that 1.5% of hate crimes committed against Christians, how many were perpetrated by gays?

Homophobia's effects don't stop with hate crimes, of course.  Nearly 400,000 gay and transgendered youth in this country are homeless. Gay youth attempt suicide three times more often than straight youth.  Joblessness is higher.  Discrimination is still a daily experience.  Just whose personal safety is at risk?

But OK.  Today wasn't about being a victim.  Today was about facing down hate and homophobia and taking back our power.  We WILL not live in fear, we will not fail to confront hate.

Springfield's own Joe Olivero took this great video that says it all.
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Don't let the 1% pollute our air in Springfield!

"Artist's rendering" which fails to show nearby houses

Please forward this to your friends and coworkers! 

Springfield residents should contact their city councilors to  support these resolutions and contact Governor Patrick to urge him to  uphold state law.

Springfield, MA - November 17, 2011 - Members of Stop Toxic  Incineration in Springfield (STIS), a volunteer group opposed to the  building of the Palmer Renewable Energy (“PRE”) biomass incinerator, are  outraged at the issuance of the building permit by Springfield Building  Commissioner Desilets that would allow construction to begin on the  incinerator.  According to Lee Ann Warner, STIS spokesperson, "This  permit flies in the face of the Springfield City Council's 10-2  revocation vote of PRE's special permit.  It sets a very dangerous  precedent for Springfield to allow utility-scale incinerator development  within the city limits without any special permitting.  This  effectively eliminates the public’s voice in decisions that affect our  health."

Patrick Markey, concerned Springfield citizen and attorney,  states, "The city’s issuance of a building permit for the PRE  incinerator is contrary to the requirements of the City’s zoning rules.   The facility lacks a necessary special permit."

Sue Reid, Director of Conservation Law Foundation –  Massachusetts, added "The issuance of a building permit to PRE is  directly at odds with the City Council’s revocation of PRE’s Special  Permit.  In addition, PRE’s rush to secure an unlawful building permit  is baffling:  state law prohibits PRE from beginning any construction  because it does not have a final air permit.”

On Monday, November 21, at 6:30 pm in City Hall, the  Springfield City Council will meet and vote on two resolutions  concerning the PRE biomass incinerator.  Michaelann Bewsee notes, "The  first resolution would reaffirm City Council’s finding that the PRE  Biomass plant is an incinerator that requires a special permit on land  zoned Industrial A.  The second resolution calls on the state to enforce  its rule of no construction of a polluting facility prior to issuance  of a final, non-appealable state air permit.  The people of Springfield  spoke loudly and clearly that they do not want – and should not have to  tolerate – any more pollution in our already overburdened city.  We  commend the city councilors for acting on behalf of the people and  support them in passing these resolutions."

Thank you from the volunteers at STIS,
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Monday, November 7, 2011

Veteran's Perks for Veteran's Day

Photo from

No matter how you feel about the war, the government or military service in general we all know that the men and women who have served and are serving this country do/did so at risk of their lives and deserve so much more than they ever get.
This list of V's. Day meals and discounts comes from a friend.
Nia:wen GhostDancer.

2011 Veteran’s Day Free Meals and Discounts
Two notes before jumping in:
  • Proof of Military Service. First, most companies require some form of military ID – including a U.S. Uniform Services ID Card (active/reserve/retired), Current Leave and Earnings Statement (LES), Photograph in uniform, be wearing uniform (if your service permits), Veterans Organization Card (e.g., American Legion and VFW), DD214, discharge paperwork, or other form of identification. Other restaurants and companies may only require a photo of you in uniform, or go by the honor system.

  • Participation. Second, always call ahead to verify locations, times, and participation. Many of the listed companies are franchises and may have different policies. We will do our best to keep this page updated as we find new info.
2011 Free Veterans Day Meals
Applebee’s – free meal, Friday, Nov. 11: Last year, Applebee’s served 1,024,000 million free meals to military veterans and active service members. Applebee’s is again offering a free meal to military veterans and active-duty service members on Veteran’s Day, Friday, Nov. 11, 2011. There will be 7 entrées to choose from. Military ID or proof of service required. Find locations at
Chili’s – free meal, Friday, Nov. 11. Chili’s is offering all military veterans past and present their choice of one of 6 meals. This offer is available during business hours on November 11, 2011 at participating Chili’s in the U.S. only. Dine-in from limited menu only; beverages and gratuity not included. Veterans and active duty military simply show proof of military service. Visit their website to find locations.
Golden Corral – Free meal, Monday Nov. 14: The 10th annual Golden Corral Military Appreciation dinner will be held on Monday, November 14, 2011 from 5 pm to 9 pm in all Golden Corral Restaurants nationwide. The free “thank you” dinner is available to any person who has ever served in the United States Military. If you are a veteran, retired, currently serving, in the National Guard or Reserves, you are invited to participate in Golden Corral’s Military Appreciation Monday dinner. For more information visit
Special thanks to Golden Corral: To date, Golden Corral restaurants have provided over 2.5 million free meals and contributed over $4.3 million to the Disabled American Veterans organization.
Hooters – Free Meal, Friday, Nov. 11. Hooter’s is serving up a free meal to military veterans all day on Veterans Day. Offer good for all veterans and active duty military personnel. Choose one of the new specialty items on the Hooter’s menu. Offer valid at participating Hooters only; open to all active duty and military veterans with valid military ID or proof of military service. Drink purchase required. For more information, visit,
Krispy Kreme – Free doughnut. Available only at participating Krispy Kreme stores. Offer available to all active-duty, retirees & veterans on Friday November 11th. Be sure to call ahead to verify your local Krispy Kreme is participating.
McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants – free lunch or dinner, Sunday Nov 13, 2011: McCormick & Schmick’s is celebrating their 13th annual Veteran’s Appreciation Event on Sunday, November 13th. Veterans will be able to choose a complimentary lunch or dinner entrée. Veterans must provide proof of military service. Be sure to contact your local McCormick & Schmick’s as this is valid at participating restaurants only. Also, Space is limited and reservations are highly recommended. For more information visit: M&S Veterans Appreciation Event.
Outback Steakhouse – A week of Free Bloomin’ Onions and Cokes Monday Nov. 7 – Friday Nov. 11. Outback Steakhouse is honoring America’s military veterans by offering active duty military and veterans a free Bloomin’ Onion and a Coca-Cola product during the week leading up to Veteran’s Day. This offer is available to Military Personnel who have one of the following forms of identifications: U.S Uniform Services Identification Card, U.S Uniform Services Retired Identification Card, Current Leave and Earnings Statement (LES), DD form 214 Veterans Organization Card (i.e., American Legion and VFW), Photograph in Uniform, Wearing Uniform. For more information, visit,
The Outback understands commitment. For the past two years, The Outback, with the help of their patrons, has donated $2 Million to Operation Homefront, a non-profit organization providing everyday and emergency support for active troops, wounded warriors and their families.
Subway – Free Six Inch Sub. Select Subway locations offer a FREE six inch sub to military veterans on Veteran’s Day. However, Subway restaurants are franchises, so this offer may not be available everywhere. Please call ahead.
Texas Roadhouse – free meal, Friday, Nov. 11. Offer varies by location; our local Texas Roadhouse is offering a free meal from opening until 4pm. Other locations may vary in offer, hours, or availability. Call ahead to your local restaurant for more information.
T.G.I. Friday’s – Buy one get one free Nov 11-14. At participating locations for anyone with an old or current military ID. November 11-14.
Uno Chicago Grill, Friday, Nov. 11. Uno’s is offering a free entree or individual pizza with a purchase of an entree or pizza of equal or greater value. Offer good for all military for veterans and active duty military. ID or proof of service required: Show up in uniform (if your service permits), provide military ID, show a picture of yourself in uniform, or have other ID showing proof of service. More info here.
Home Depot and Lowes Coupon Updates
Update: Home Depot and Lowes 10% Military Discount Available Everyday.
Home Depot: The Home Depot(R) is offering all active duty personnel, reservists, retired military, veterans and their families a 10 percent discount off their purchases in honor of Veteran’s Day. The offer is valid on purchases of up to $2,000 for a maximum of $200 and is available at The Home Depot stores, The Home Depot Design Center locations, Yardbirds and EXPO Design Center(R) locations. The 10% discount is available everyday for active duty and retirees, but not all veterans. Home Depot makes this offer available to all veterans on most military holidays. You can also find Home Depot discounts online.
Lowes: Lowe’s Companies, Inc. will offer all active, reserve, honorably discharged, retired military personnel and their immediate family members a 10 percent discount on in-store U.S. purchases made during the Veterans Day holiday. The discount is available Nov. 7 – Nov. 11. The discount is available on in-stock and special order purchases up to $5,000. To qualify, individuals must present a valid military ID or other proof of service. Excluded from the discount are sales via, previous sales, and purchases of services or gift cards. Like Home Depot, Lowes offers this discount daily to active duty military members, but not to veterans. However, they extend the offer to military veterans on military holidays. You can also find exclusive discounts at Lowe’
Free Park Admissions for Veterans Day
Here's to the Heroes
Anheuser-Busch Parks. Anheuser-Busch Parks offers Active Duty Service Members free admission for them and up to 3 dependents to any of their parks once a year. Throughout 2011, members of the military and as many as three direct dependents may enter SeaWorld, Busch Gardens or Sesame Place parks with a single-day complimentary admission. The Here’s to the Heroes program is only available to ANY active duty, activated or drilling reservist, or National Guardsman. Eligible parks include: Adventure Island, Busch Gardens (Tampa Bay or Williamsburg), SeaWorld (Orlando, San Diego, or San Antonio), Sesame Place, and Water Country USA. Not valid at Discovery Cove and Aquatica. Christmas Town at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Va. is not included as part of this program. For more information and to register, visit: Free admission summary, and ticket application.
Colonial Williamsburg Free Admission. Colonial Williamsburg offers free weekend-long admission tickets to active-duty military, reservists, retirees, veterans, and their immediate dependents from Friday, Nov. 11 through Sunday, Nov. 13th. The complimentary ticket includes admission to Colonial Williamsburg exhibition sites, art museums, and most daytime programs, as well as free parking and use of the shuttle bus system. Tickets are only available at on-site ticket sales locations. Tickets are also available to families of deployed service members. Tickets available on the following dates: Nov. 11-13.
Historic Jamestowne – Free Admission. The National Park Service commemorates Veterans Day with Fee Free days at Historic Jamestowne November 11-13. Free admission for everyone. See events calendar.
Knotts Berry Farm Military Tribute Days – Free Admission. Knott’s Berry Farm has an annual Military Tribute event in which they offer military members past and present by offering free park admission. This year the Military Tribute Days run from November 1 – 24 November (Thanksgiving Day). Veterans or current serving military personnel plus one guest get in FREE with proper ID presented at Knott’s turnstile (DD214, Veterans Administration Hospital ID or Active Military Service ID). Purchase up to six additional tickets for just $17 each.
More info.
Fee Free Day at National Parks. To honor America’s service men and women, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced that areas managed by the National Park Service would not charge entrance fees for Veteran’s Day weekend – November 11-13, 2011. Over 100 national Parks will be participating in this event.
San Jacinto Monument and Museum (La Porte, TX). November 7-13: Free admission to the theatre, Observation Floor, and (on November 12-13) the special exhibit to all veterans and their families.
More info.
Bed and Breakfast for Vets:
In the third year of the program, B&Bs for Vets has organized over 485 (and counting) participating Bed and Breakfasts and Inns across the US and Canada which will be offering veterans a free night’s stay on November 10th, the night before Veterans Day. This offer is available to both active duty military members and veterans with ID, but space is limited. Each Inn and B&B has at least one room available for this promotion and reservations must be made directly through the participating Inns and B&Bs. For more information visit B&Bs for Vets.
Free Hugo® Canes for Veterans:
Sam’s Club® locations nationwide will distribute 36,000 Hugo® canes free of charge on November 9th, 10th, 11th, 2011 to U.S. military veterans in need of mobility assistance. Limited quantities available, while supplies last. Sam’s Club® Membership is not required, but proof of military service may be required. For more information, visit
Other Veteran’s Day Discounts:
Here are some additional Veteran’s Day Discounts. In all cases, be sure to provide proper ID or proof of service. In addition, some of these stores are franchises, so verify participation before assuming the discount is in place.
  • Free Car wash. Thousands of car washes around the country are offering vets a free car wash on Veterans Day. Find a list at Grace for Veterans, which helped veterans receive 101,537 FREE Washes on Veterans Day in 2010.

  • – Discount “Veterans Day Honor” MP3 album download. This downloadable album includes 12 songs as performed by the military bands and ensembles of the U.S. Armed Forces. Visit Amazon on Veteran’s Day to download the album.

  • Netflix – One Month Free Trial.

  • Sport Clips – FREE haircut to active-duty military & veterans. Offer only available at select locations. Please call to verify local participation.

  • Tim Hortons – all US locations are offering a free donut to all veterans (check out the Star Spangled donut!).

  • $100 for opening new Chase Freedom VISA.
Jos. A. Bank Veteran’s Day coupons:
  • All Executive suits $177, 2nd $57 – Lowest prices this year for suits! You save $866 when you buy 2!
  • All Traveler and Signature Suits $377, 2nd $97
  • All Joseph & Signature Gold Suits $577, 2nd $197
  • Valid: November 11, 2010
Regional Veteran’s Day Discounts:
There have been multiple request to include local and regional Veteran’s Day discounts. We are happy to include these in our list. Please use our Contact Page to send us the information. Please be sure to include a link to the website so we can verify it and share it with our readers. If a website is not available, then please use the company e-mail address so we can verify the offer.
  • America’s Incredible Pizza Company (St. Louis and St. Peters, MO). Free meal Nov. 11th. Call ahead to verify hours and locations.

  • Aquarium of the Pacific (Long Beach, CA). Free admission for veterans, military personnel, police officers, and firefighters who show valid service ID on November 11, 2011. More info.

  • Brevard Zoo (Melbourne, FL), Nov. 11-13. Free Admission to military veterans with proof of service. More info.

  • Des Moines Botanical Center. Free admission November 11, 2011 for Veterans and their families. More info.

  • San Antonio Symphony and the United States Air Force Band of the West. Free Veterans Day Concert November 13, 2011. More info.
2010 Veterans Day Deals:
The following is a sampling of some deals from last year. We are working to confirm any discounts or freebies for 2011. At this time please use the following entries only as reference until current deals can be confirmed.
  • Abuelo’s Mexican Food. Offers vary by location. Be sure to verify in advance.

  • Barmuda (Iowa) – free meal. Barmuda is offering a free meal to all active duty members and veterans in all restaurants. More information.

  • Big Lots – 10% off your entire purchase with valid military ID. more info.

  • Boston’s Gourmet Pizza (Denver area) – Free individual pizza. All military veterans and active duty military personnel can enjoy an FREE individual one topping pizza this Veteran’s Day 5-7 PM! There are two Boston’s Gourmet Pizza & Sports Bar locations in the Denver area. The Highlands Ranch location is just off of C-470 and Broadway, at 53 W. Centennial Blvd. The newly re-opened Parker location is just off of C-470 and Parker Road at 19340 E Cottonwood Dr.

  • Cabela’s. Cabela’s is giving their standard employee discount to all US military veterans, active duty military, Guard/Reserves, law enforcement, fire and EMS personnel on Nov. 11-12. Discount varies from 5% to 50%, depending on the item. (I received this information from an active duty military member who forwarded an e-mail that was distributed base wide, however, I have not been able to confirm this; please contact Cabela’s before assuming this offer is in place).

  • Dollar General. 10% discount on entire purchase on Veteran’s Day. Offer good for all active-duty military, retirees, veterans, Guard/Reserve, & immediate family members. The coupon can be found in the store circular, or by asking an employee. More info.

  • Meineke in (Salem, MA). Free Oil Change – Friday Nov 11. U.S. Military Veterans and active duty personnel will receive a Free Oil Change that includes standard oil and filter and a complete courtesy check at one of the two participating locations: 462 Highland Avenue, Salem, Massachusetts (978) 741-0335 ; 4 11 Broad Street – Route 1A, Lynn, Massachusetts (781) 592-0001 .

  • Sears 10% discount Thursday and Friday, Nov. 11-12. Sears is offering a “Salute to Local Heroes” discount to all military, veterans, police, firefighters, teachers, and hospital staff. Offer is good for 10% of regular, sale, and clearance prices. See this store flyer for more information.

  • Sleep Number Stores. Free travel pillow to all active duty military & retirees now through Nov. 14. Find your “sleep number” setting, and get a free pillow – easy!

Gail E. Cheatham
Kickapoo Tribe in KS
2314 SW Burnett Rd
Topeka, KS 66614-1204
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