Businesses find a way to honor veterans

Cari Bergman, manager of Golden Corral restaurant, has a son serving in the U.S. Army, which makes the restaurant’s free “Thank You” meal for vets on Nov. 17 all the more special. (HUBBLE RAY SMITH/Miner)

Cari Bergman, manager of Golden Corral restaurant, has a son serving in the U.S. Army, which makes the restaurant’s free “Thank You” meal for vets on Nov. 17 all the more special. (HUBBLE RAY SMITH/Miner)

KINGMAN - Several local restaurants are paying tribute to military veterans and active-duty servicemen and women today with Veterans Day specials that include free meals, discounts and add-ons.

Bring valid military identification and start off with a build-your-own Grand Slam breakfast at Denny's, 3255 E. Andy Devine Ave., from 5 a.m. to noon. Choose from one of four breakfast items, such as buttermilk pancakes, eggs cooked to order, bacon, sausage and hash browns or toast.

"As America's diner, we pause every year on Veterans Day to thank the incredible servicemen and women for their continued dedication and sacrifice," Denny's chief executive officer John Dillon said in a prepared statement. "We hope they will come to Denny's to relax and allow us to serve them for a change."

The Cracker Barrel, at 3520 Stockton Hill Road, is treating veterans to a free slice of a double-chocolate fudge Coca-Cola cake with the purchase of any entrée.

David Knight, manager of the Cracker Barrel, said it's the first time in his seven years there that the restaurant has offered a Veterans Day deal. He said the restaurant donates to the USO and Wounded Warrior fund and wanted to do something for Veterans Day.

Chili's, at 3840 Stockton Hill Road, put together a Veterans Day menu of eight items for free from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. with military ID. Beverage and gratuity are not included.

Retired and active-duty military personnel can take 50 percent off their dinner check at Calico's Restaurant and Lounge at 418 W. Beale St.

Golden Corral has been serving free "Thank You" dinners to military vets for 14 years, said Cari Bergman, manager of Golden Corral at 3580 Stockton Hill Road. The restaurant is holding its special event from 5-9 p.m. Monday, Nov. 17.

"I was here two years ago and we were extremely busy," Bergman said. "We have a DJ in the parking lot to entertain our guests because it's getting a little nippy in Kingman, but not crazy cold."

Bergman was working at Golden Corral in Tulsa, Okla., last year and said the line went out the door and around the building. Golden Corral has provided 4.1 million free meals to veterans and has donated $8.8 million to Disabled Veterans of America.

"It's absolutely my favorite day of the year to give something back that they truly deserve," said Bergman, whose son, Daniel, is stationed in Alaska with the U.S. Army.

"This is their day to shine and we need to help them do that. It's heartwarming to hear them talk about where they served and what they did and sharing stories with each other. Not all of them were treated with respect when they came back."

Other Veterans Day specials include:

• Rutherford's 66 Family Diner, 2011 E. Andy Devine Ave.: 25 percent off on Veterans Day; 10 percent off on Mondays and Wednesdays.

• Bad Muffin Coffee, 3630 Stockton Hill Road: 30 percent off on Veterans Day, normally 15 percent off.

• Garlic Clove, 509 E. Beale St.: always 10 percent off for veterans.

• Starbucks (select locations): Free tall brewed coffee.