Did you know that some McDonald’s franchises offer military discounts or even a free meal on Veterans Day? This is not a corporate mandate, and the offer is only found at participating locations.
Note: Many McDonald’s locations are franchises. Discounts and participation may vary and are at the discretion of the owner. Please call ahead to verify participation.
In 2020 on November 11, veterans and active duty military personnel were able stop by any participating McDonald’s location for a free Extra Value Meal or another select menu item. *We are waiting to confirm this McDonald’s offer for Veterans Day 2021. Check back often.
With more than 37,000 locations it shouldn’t be hard to find a McDonald’s. Just be sure to call ahead because not all locations participate in these types of offers.
Read on to see how you can take advantage of this. And remember, if your local McDonald’s is not participating, you can view our list of around 100 restaurants that offer free or discounted meals this Veterans Day.
First, Prove Your Status with Documentation
Like most military discounts, this one will require you to present a proof of service of some sort.
Just present your military identification if you’re currently serving in the armed forces. Here are a few commonly accepted forms of military proof to give you an idea:
- Military ID Card
- Veterans ID Card or VA issued Health Card Card
- DD 214
- Drivers License with Veterans Service Designator
- Veterans Service Organization Membership Card
Or you can just wear your uniform when you stop by McDonald’s or even bring a photo of yourself in uniform, especially if the photo clearly identifies you.
If you’re worried about being able to prove your status quickly and easily, call ahead to ask the manager whether your form of identification will suffice.
Also, keep in mind that a McDonald’s located on your military base may not participate in this Veterans Day offer since it is technically operated by the Department of Defense and not by the Chicago-based corporate office.
With any Veterans Day offer, it’s a good idea to call before arriving just to make sure the location you’ve chosen will be participating. Remember, each franchise owner can choose whether or not to participate in these types of offers.
So What’s on the Menu for Veterans?
Note: Military discounts, Veterans Day promotions, and similar offers are at the discretion of each location. Please contact the location in advance to verify participation.
We haven’t seen details of McDonald’s 2021 Veterans Day offer yet, but in previous years, participating restaurants have offered veterans, active duty military members, and members of the Reserves and National Guard a free coffee, breakfast sandwich, or even an Extra Value Meal.
Extra Value Meal is McDonald’s lingo for a combo. At lunch or dinner, it includes an entree such as a Big Mac, Double Cheeseburger, or Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich along with a medium-sized order of fries and a medium fountain drink or tea.
Since the meal includes a drink, you won’t have to bring any money to McDonald’s, though you may want to if you plan to have dessert or coffee after your meal. Many other free Veterans Day restaurant offers do not include drinks.
McDonald’s also has Extra Value Meals at breakfast, and most McDonald’s serve breakfast food all day.
Instead of a burger or sandwich, breakfast meals feature biscuits, McMuffins, McGriddles, and even a Sausage Burrito in most locations.
Instead of fries, you’ll get hash browns. Breakfast meals usually include coffee instead of a soft drink but you can usually substitute a drink without much fuss.
When Veterans Can Get a Free Meal
McDonald’s Veterans Day offer will be valid on Veterans Day itself, November 11.
Many of McDonald’s more than 37,000 locations stay open 24 hours, but if you don’t know about the location nearest you, call ahead or check the corporate Web site to find out for sure.
The good thing about McDonald’s is that even if your closest location isn’t open or won’t participate in the Veterans Day promotion, you can probably find another location across town or in some cases a couple miles away.
Who Is Eligible for a McDonald’s Meal?
McDonald’s invites veterans, current active duty military members from any branch, and members of the Reserves or National Guard to take advantage of its Veterans Day free offer.
The offer, however, does not extend to family members or other guests who have not served in the military. So if you plan to bring your spouse, your friends, or even your children, remember they’ll have to pay full price.
McDonald’s asks that you claim only one free Extra Value Meal on Veterans Day. Also, locations in Hawaii and Alaska, and in U.S. territories, are not likely to participate.
Despite this limitation, the McDonald’s Veterans Day offer is one of the most flexible and inclusive ones out there. Once you’ve proven your status as a veteran, you can choose any Extra Value Meal from the menu for free.
What’s in an Extra Value Meal?
Almost everything except desserts and salads can be included in an Extra Value Meal at McDonald’s. Lunch or dinner meals come with fries and a cold drink; breakfast meals come with hash browns and coffee.
Entrees at lunch or dinner include:
- Big Mac
- Quarter Pounder with Cheese
- Double Quarter Pounder Cheese
- Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Sandwich
- Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich.
Breakfast entrees available all day include:
- Egg McMuffin
- Sausage McMuffin
- Bacon, Egg and Cheese Biscuit
- Sausage McGriddles
- Sausage Burritos.
Lunch options usually aren’t available before 10:30 or 11 am depending on your location; breakfast options are available all day almost everywhere in the country.
McDonald’s: An Icon of American Culture
Say what you want about McDonald’s, there’s no denying its place in our culture. The restaurant traces its roots to a hamburger stand in San Bernardino, Calif., 1940.
Fueled by Americans’ obsession with their automobiles after World War II, McDonald’s grew into an all-American institution in the 1950s and now has locations in more than 100 countries around the world.
McDonald’s has also changed with the times, offering healthier alternatives at its U.S. locations and culturally-appropriate menus on other continents.
The company owes a lot of its global success to the peace and security that U.S. military forces support throughout the world.
It’s fitting, then, that the company offers veterans and active duty military members a free lunch (or breakfast or dinner) this Veterans Day, Nov. 11.
As a military community, we’re thankful to restaurants like McDonald’s, and to all of the business offering Veterans Day deals, as well as discounted events and attractions that make Veterans Day celebrations all the more meaningful.