To serve one’s country demands a sacrifice for which no gift seems sufficient enough reward.
The men and women of our armed services do enjoy certain perks, however, most notably the GI Bill, The VA Home Loan Guarantee Program, and the Veteran Pension and Life Insurance Service. But the perks of service hardly end there. Many veterans and or active duty military personnel would be surprised to learn of the varied and substantial array of benefits, discounts, and non-profit organizations that exist to honor those who serve. The following is a sampling of some of the most interesting.
Protect Our Troops is an Organization that installs wireless, two-way voice security systems and provides 24hr monitoring for active duty service persons. With many soldiers stationed in areas requiring communication blackouts or reception issues (as in the mountainous highlands of Afghanistan) knowing their spouses, children and property back home is being monitored can be a great comfort.
2. Free Credit Repair Assistance –
www.vacreditsolutions.com Credit Reporting is perhaps the only American institution where you are guilty until proven innocent. Statistics suggest that as much as 70% of all credit reports have errors on them, and as many as 25% contain errors serious enough that would preclude an otherwise qualified borrower from access to credit they deserve. Many veterans are unaware that the burden of contesting this information not only rests on them but that most companies advertising credit repair operate illegally. VA Credit Solutions is a free service designed to assist veterans and active duty military personnel with self-directed credit repair.
3. Free Concerts & Sporting Events –
http://www.vettix.org/aboutus.php The Veteran Tickets Foundation is a non-profit distribution entity that collects donations of tickets from individuals, corporations, celebrities, and professional sports teams. These tickets are then distributed to veterans with service-connected disabilities and active duty servicepersons.
4. Private Disney World Resort –
http://www.shadesofgreen.org – Shades of Greens is a special resort situated on the Walt Disney World property reserved exclusively for veterans, active duty servicepersons, and their families. In addition to substantial discounts on basic lodging, meal plans and transportation to and from the park, guests of the resort are treated to special activities that honor their military service.
5. Free Admission to Theme Parks –
On select days and seasons, veterans and active duty military personnel gain free admission to a host of top tier amusement parks and attractions, including (but not limited to) Sea World, The San Diego Zoo, Legoland, Knotts Berry Farm and many others.
6. Free Meals –
Veterans Day is a time for remembering the contribution and sacrifice of those Americans who have served and continue to serve our nation. It’s also a day that, should a vet or active duty soldier find themselves hungry, that a host of popular restaurant chains including Applebee’s, Outback Steakhouse, and Krispy Kreme will provide free meals in their honor.
7. Free Plastic Surgery –
http://www.capsmi.com/newsEvents/index.html As part of their self-styled “Veteran’s Project” The Center For Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery in Grand Rapids Michigan aims to assist veterans with service-connected disabilities by providing them with free reconstructive and cosmetic surgeries to help ease the psychological and physical scars of wartime violence.
8. Tax-Free Plus Discounted Construction & Building Materials –
Lowe’s Home Improvement http://guardianofvalor.com/lowes-and-home-depot-military-and-veteran-discounts-explained/ & The Home Depot 10% Discounts on purchases up to $5000 with both Lowes Home Improvement and The Home Depot on select days throughout the year, most notably on Veteran’s Day Weekend.
9. Free Wedding Gowns for Military Brides –
Viva Amore Boutique – http://www.vivaamoreboutique.com/dresses-for-military-brides/ For those engaged women either serving in the military or preparing to marry an active-duty soldier, this boutique helps young deserving couples celebrates one of the most important days of their lives in style with a price that’s hard to beat – Free.
10. Free Personalized Military Doll for Children of Deployed Soldiers –
Operation Military Kids http://www.operationmilitarykids.org/public/getInvolvedBy.aspx?state=Utah This non-profit organization focuses on the war at home fought by the families of deployed soldiers in the absence of their loved ones. OMK provides personalized dolls with real pictures of their parents representing the faces.