America's corporate overlords want you to know the true meaning of Veterans Day: Buying their stuff


Ah, Veterans Day. It's that federal holiday where most people just want to take the day off to celebrate America's military veterans in the best way they know how: shelling out a bunch of money to their corporate overlords.

At least that's the way corporate America sees it.

In the days and weeks preceding every Nov. 11, reporters at military-centric publications such as Task & Purpose are inundated with all kinds of pitches from public relations reps — we call them "flacks" — trying to get whatever company they are currently working for covered here on our pages, so that you, dear reader, will then go out and give them your money.

We get these on just about every holiday, appropriate and inappropriate alike. The Onion, for example, wasn't far off with its 2013 article satirizing this phenomenon — "New Subway Promotion To Honor Subtember 11" — considering that we routinely get pitches like this one, tied to Memorial Day, announcing a discount for military members and veterans (Memorial Day is about honoring military personnel who died).

The pitches are often eerily similar: "Hi [Name]! Hope you are well!" they often begin, from a PR person who does not care whether the email recipient lives or dies. To illustrate the point, it's quite common for some to put the wrong name, and, for the record, my name is not Thomas, or Bill, or Susan.

"As you consider your coverage on Veterans Day, I thought I'd share with you..." the pitch continues, before the actual meat: GIANT BRAND is doing something for veterans out of the goodness of its heart and NOT BECAUSE IT WANTS TO MAKE MORE MONEY.

This is what is called "earned media." It's when a company sends out a press release and tries to get free exposure from a reporter. But these are usually not something readers give a crap about, so maybe GIANT BRAND can shell out some of its own money and, you know, just pay for advertising.

Still, we wanted to honor these brave PR heroes in their fight for earned media. So, here below, is a sampling in all their original glory. Maybe you'll be inspired to buy something, or maybe you'll want to vomit. Who knows. But thank you for your service, veterans. Now enjoy these discounts.

1. This Veterans Day, Harold and Kumar want you to eat some very small hamburgers



Special offer for past and present military members will be available on Monday, Nov. 11

COLUMBUS, Ohio – White Castle®, a family-owned business for 98 years, is celebrating Veterans Day by offering a free Combo Meal or Breakfast Combo Meal to all veterans and active military members who dine at any one of the nearly 400 White Castle restaurants nationwide. The special offer is valid on Nov. 11.

"White Castle is a proud member of the diverse communities we serve," said Jamie Richardson, vice president of White Castle. "From our family of nearly 10,000 team members, we are honored to recognize past and current members of the U.S. military for their commitment to and sacrifices for our country."

Veterans and those on active duty are encouraged to visit their local White Castle to receive this offer in recognition of their service to our country. No purchase is necessary, simply provide your military ID.

"We hope that this token of our appreciation brightens the day of our incredible veterans and active military members," said Richardson.

White Castle's famous fare, including the full breakfast menu and the Impossible Slider, is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week in most restaurants.

For more information, visit

2. This Veterans Day, Skillsoft wants you to get off your ass and get a job in tech

Hi Jared,

As you continue to cover military technology and with Veterans Day less than two weeks away, thought you'd be interested in a conversation about how organizations can honor military veterans this year by helping them acquire skills they need to accelerate their careers in tech.

I work with Skillsoft, who's technology is being used to do exactly this. If interested, I could connect you with a Skillsoft executive (or one of the below organizations) to discuss their work to upskill and reskill veterans:

  • General Electric (GE): GE's Junior Officer Leadership Program (JOLP) recognizes the high potential of military officers to become senior leaders within GE. GE currently employs about 9,000 U.S. veterans, which means about one in every 13 U.S. employees at GE is a veteran. Here's some background on its work with Skillsoft.
  • Syracuse University: SU's Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) is another exemplary program for veterans. Syracuse partnered with Skillsoft to curate an extensive eLearning library complete with online courses, practice tests, supplemental resources and targeted mentorship tools aligned with more than 30 predefined learning pathways. To date, more than 23,000 military-connected learners have completed 27,000 courses and earned more than 2,100 industry certifications through the partnership.

Any interest in chatting with GE, Syracuse University and/or Skillsoft about their work with military veterans? Happy to set up a quick call or answer any questions over email.



3. This Veterans Day, ISSA wants you to get off your ass and become a personal trainer

ISSA Launches Military Family Fitness Certification Program in

Honor of Veterans Day & Military Families Month

Discounts Extended to Veterans and their Families through November 30

PHOENIX, Ariz. (Nov. 8, 2019) - The International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) is proud to offer discounted fitness certification programs for military veterans and their families beginning on Nov. 8, and throughout November. The special pricing plan is for all veterans (active, inactive, reserve, and retired), and their immediate family members located anywhere in the world.

"More than 200,000 men and women transition from active duty to civilian life each year, "said ISSA President Andrew Wyant. "They bring a host of strong, transferable skills to the workforce. Certification is a great logical step to channel their skills in fitness, discipline and structure in a way that helps others."

In addition to the military-specific education support and job placement assistance, ISSA's promotion provides $100 off their lowest priced certification fees. Service members can choose Self-Guided Study, Assisted Fast Track, or Full Training Experience and get started for only $10 down.

The military program was created specifically for veterans and their families who are looking to increase strength, live a healthier lifestyle, and jump start a career as a personal trainer and/or gym owner. Becoming a certified fitness trainer can make a positive, lifelong impact on veterans and allows them to easily transition into civilian life while maintaining high physical standards from their time in the military.

"The self-paced classes offered by ISSA were perfect for me," added Patricia Baisden, a 30-year US Army veteran and ISSA certified trainer. "I was able to study at night, work during the day, and still spend time with family. I had such a great experience that I recommended ISSA to my son."

For more information, call ISSA at 800-892-4772. Active duty service members who would like to enroll a team may contact ISSA at You can also visit

4. This Veterans Day, Tribe CBD wants you to enjoy its sweet cannabidiol oil at favorable prices

Tribe CBD Announces New Veteran's Assistance Program

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 7, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Tribe CBD, a Colorado-based CBD brand with the goal of bringing the highest quality hemp CBD oil to the people at a favorable price, is pleased to announce its Veterans Assistance Program (VAP) to help bring affordable CBD to the Veteran's Community. Within this program, U.S. military veterans can receive 30% off all retail prices by sharing their journey with the Tribe team and community.

"Before I created Tribe CBD I was in the Navy, and we feel very strongly that veterans need access to hemp CBD," said Alec Rochford, Tribe CBD's Chief Executive Officer. "No one sacrifices more than active duty military and veterans. Because our products do not contain any THC, I wanted to create a program for veterans to get premium CBD oil at a discount simply because they deserve it."

According to recent studies, there are nearly 18 million U.S. military veterans that experience some form of mental illness, whether that be depression, anxiety, insomnia or PTSD, or physical issue. The VA is currently exploring how CBD affects symptoms of anxiety and PTSD in veterans.

"I personally use our CBD tinctures every night to help with sleeping issues and back pain," shares Alec. There are many stories to be told and voices to be heard within the Veteran's Community that have yet to be exposed. Tribe's Assisted Program is intended to bring light to those who have served our country, while providing them access to premium broad spectrum CBD oil and their newly-released cbd gummies at a discounted price.

With Tribe CBD's exceptional new program, they continue to make their brand stand out and speak to everyone. For further information, visit Tribe CBD's website to learn more about applying to their Assistance Program.

To help celebrate Veteran's across the country, Tribe has extended their 30% discount to all customers through the end of Veteran's Day Weekend. Just use code VETERANS30 at checkout.

About Tribe CBD:
Tribe CBD is a Colorado-based CBD brand selling high quality hemp-derived, broad spectrum products. Tribe is setting the standard for a high quality oil, and emerging as one of the first companies to offer broad spectrum CBD oil at competitive rates.

5. This Veterans Day, Motel 6 is offering a place to crash after picking up that cougar during a drunken night out in Myrtle Beach.

Hi James,

As you work on roundups for Veteran's Day, I am sharing a discount that is offered by Motel 6 – allowing veterans to get more out of their travel experiences.

Motel 6 is proud to offer all active and retired military personnel and their families up to a 10 percent discount off its already-low rates at all 1,400+ locations. To apply to a reservation, select "Military" as your Rate Type during the reservation process (before confirming your reservation). The military rate is valid only in the country that a guest serves (or served) and a valid military ID must be presented at check-in to receive this special rate. This discount is available year-round.

Motel 6 has been recognized for various awards for its commitment to serving the military community. For the second year in a row, Motel 6 ranked No. 1 in the Military Friendly® Employer $500 million-$1 billion revenue category. Additionally, Motel 6 placed No. 11 out of 100 in Military Times' 2019 "Best for Vets" Employer ranking.

Please let me know if you're interested in sharing this discount with your readers and let me know if you have any questions.

6. This Veterans Day, Red Lobster wants you to eat a free Parrot Isle Jumbo Coconut Shrimp appetizer or a Brownie Overboard™

Hi James,

In honor of Veterans Day, Red Lobster is offering a free appetizer or dessert to veterans, active duty military and reservists with a valid military ID on Monday, November 11. The offer is available in-restaurant or on To Go orders picked up in-restaurant. Guests only need to show a valid military ID or proof of service to redeem this offer.

Guests may choose their free appetizer or dessert from a special menu that includes the following selections*:


    • Sweet Chili Shrimp
    • Mozzarella Cheesesticks
    • Parrot Isle Jumbo Coconut Shrimp
    • Seafood-Stuffed Mushrooms
    • Lobster and Langostino Pizza
    • Signature Shrimp Cocktail
    • Langostino Lobster-Artichoke-and-Seafood Dip
  • Desserts
    • Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
    • Key Lime Pie
    • Warm Apple Crostada
    • Chocolate Wave
    • Brownie Overboard™

Please let me know if you plan to cover Red Lobster's Veterans Day offer for a story or deals roundup.

7. This Veterans Day, SeaWorld wants you to see captive sea life at a sweet discount

Hi Samuel,

Those that sacrifice so much for our country deserve to be celebrated and honored - this Veteran's Day and every day. The brave men and woman currently serving, veterans and family members know time at home is sacred and often limited, so sharing experiences and making lifetime memories becomes a priority. With activities such as up close and personal animal exhibits, shows and live entertainment, summer concert series, and thrilling rides and roller coasters, SeaWorld have something for everyone. Visits to these parks are unforgettable.

Each park has its own program for both active military and veterans and their families, and discounts vary between 30-50 percent off. Full priced tickets differ from park to park but start at $49.99. I have outlined the specifics below. All parks extend the offers year-round but do require valid military ID and for guests to register on to qualify.

  • SeaWorld Orlando
    • Active Military
      • Waves of Honor permits any U.S. active duty military, activated or drilling reservist, or National Guardsman to one complimentary admission per year for military personnel and as many as three direct dependents.
        • Service members and their direct dependents must have a valid active military ID in order to participate.
        • To qualify for this promotion, guests must be registered with
    • Veterans
      • Former military personnel and up to three guests may enjoy a 50% off discount on a SeaWorld Orlando Single Day Ticket - available through December 20, 2019.
        • Veteran or Retiree service member must provide military ID at the front gate.
        • To qualify for this promotion, guests must be registered with
  • SeaWorld San Diego
    • Active Military
      • Waves of Honor permits any U.S. active duty military, activated or drilling reservist, or National Guardsman to one complimentary admission per year for military personnel and as many as three direct dependents.
        • Service members and their direct dependents must have a valid active military ID in order to participate.
        • To qualify for this promotion, guests must be registered with
    • Veterans
      • Through our Waves of Honor program, former military personnel and up to three guests may enjoy one complimentary admission to SeaWorld® San Diego.
      • Offer extends to U.S. Military Veterans, retired Veterans and retirees who have honorably served and includes one complimentary admission per promotional period per Veteran and up to three guests.
      • To take advantage of these offers, click the button to verify your Veteran status through (Spouses must log-in under the Veteran's account in order to take advantage of the guest tickets).
      • The ticket(s) must be obtained online by December 31, 2019, and redeemed at SeaWorld San Diego for visitation by December 31, 2019. The Veteran must be present with their 3 guests upon redemption at the park for visitation.
  • SeaWorld San Antonio
    • Active Military
      • Waves of Honor permits any U.S. active duty military, activated or drilling reservist, or National Guardsman to one complimentary admission per year for military personnel and as many as three direct dependents.
        • Service members and their direct dependents must have a valid active military ID in order to participate. Inactive, standby and retired reserve members, military retirees, U.S. Merchant Marine and civilian Department of Defense workers are ineligible for the program.
        • Guests must register online and print tickets by December 31, 2019. Ticket expires December 31, 2019 for admission to SeaWorld.
        • To qualify for this promotion, guests must be registered with
    • Veterans
      • FREE single day admission to SeaWorld San Antonio plus up to 3 additional guests. The complimentary ticket(s) must be obtained online and redeemed at the park for visitation by July 31, 2019.
        • This offer is available to Veterans and military members from U.S. only. This offer is available exclusively online and guests must register by June 9, 2019. Ticket expires July 31, 2019. This offer is not available at the front gate.
        • Veteran or Retiree service member must provide military ID
        • To qualify for this promotion, guests must be registered with
  • Sesame Place
    • Active Duty
      • Waves of Honor permits any U.S. active duty military, activated or drilling reservist, or National Guardsman to one complimentary admission per year for military personnel and as many as three direct dependents.
        • Service members and their direct dependents must have a valid active military ID in order to participate.
        • To qualify for this promotion, guests must be registered with
  • Busch Gardens (Tampa and Williamsburg)
    • Active Duty
      • Waves of Honor permits any U.S. active duty military, activated or drilling reservist, or National Guardsman to one complimentary admission per year for military personnel and as many as three direct dependents.
        • Service members and their direct dependents must have a valid active military ID in order to participate.
        • To qualify for this promotion, guests must be registered with

8. This Veterans Day, The Zebra wants you to save money on car insurance

Hi Andrew,

With Veteran's Day approaching on Monday, I wanted to follow back up on my earlier email about tips for veterans and active military to know when shopping for car insurance (and saving!), courtesy of The Zebra:

1. Certain carriers like USAA and AFI cater only to military members. Other carriers, like GEICO, can offer specific discounts.

2. Military members move a lot, and insurance changes from state to state. We recommend utilizing the Family Readiness Department on base, which will take care of military families who are moving or just getting settled.

3. Check for restrictions on who can change the policy. This comes into play when, for example, a deployed service member needs to make changes or file a claim but can't call during business hours.

4. Consider comprehensive coverage in storm-prone areas, even if you're not driving the vehicle.

5. Although standard car insurance pricing practices stipulate an insurer could charge a driver for a lapse in coverage that might occur during military deployment, many insurance companies will make an exception for veterans or active-duty military personnel. If you can show proof-of-deployment for the period during which your car insurance lapsed, you could receive preferential rates.

Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. to require that veterans and active duty military members receive a discount. Additionally, veterans and members of the armed forces can find additional savings of about about $375 a year by comparing car insurance every 6-12 months saves drivers.

If you'd like more information, feel free to reach back out! The Zebra is the nation's leading insurance comparison site and a trusted destination to compare, buy and manage insurance with ease.

There it is, flacks. Now stop emailing me.

On a military base, a black flag is bad news. That means it's too hot outside to do anything strenuous, so training and missions are put off until conditions improve.

As the climate changes, there could be plenty more black flag days ahead, especially in Florida, a new analysis from the Union of Concerned Scientists found. America's military bases could see an average of an extra month of dangerously hot days by mid-century. In Florida, they could quadruple.

Pentagon data shows heat-related illnesses and injuries are on the rise in every branch of the military. Last year, nearly 2,800 troops suffered heatstroke or heat exhaustion, a roughly 50 percent jump from 2014.

"I think most of us, if we hear there are tens of thousands of cases of heat stress in our troops every year, our minds would go to where they were deployed," said Kristy Dahl, a senior climate scientist at UCS and the lead author of the study. "But more than 90% of the military cases of heatstroke happened right here at home."

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In this March 12, 2016, file photo, Marines of the U.S., left, and South Korea, wearing blue headbands on their helmets, take positions after landing on a beach during the joint military combined amphibious exercise, called Ssangyong, part of the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle military exercises, in Pohang, South Korea. (Associated Press/Yonhap/Kim Jun-bum)

BANGKOK (Reuters) - The United States and South Korea said on Sunday they will postpone upcoming military drills in an effort to bolster a stalled peace push with North Korea, even as Washington denied the move amounted to another concession to Pyongyang.

The drills, known as the Combined Flying Training Event, would have simulated air combat scenarios and involved an undisclosed number of warplanes from both the United States and South Korea.

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An opening ceremony will be held Monday on Hawaii island for a military exercise with China that will involve about 100 People's Liberation Army soldiers training alongside U.S. Army counterparts.

This comes after Adm. Phil Davidson, head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, spoke on Veterans Day at Punchbowl cemetery about the "rules-based international order" that followed U.S. victory in the Pacific in World War II, and China's attempts to usurp it.

Those American standards "are even more important today," Davidson said, "as malicious actors like the Communist Party of China seek to redefine the international order through corruption, malign cyber activities, intellectual property theft, restriction of individual liberties, military coercion and the direct attempts to override other nations' sovereignty."

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday told North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to "act quickly" to reach a deal with the United States, in a tweet weighing in on North Korea's criticism of his political rival former Vice President Joe Biden.

Trump, who has met Kim three times since 2018 over ending the North's missile and nuclear programs, addressed Kim directly, referring to the one-party state's ruler as "Mr. Chairman".

In his tweet, Trump told Kim, "You should act quickly, get the deal done," and hinted at a further meeting, signing off "See you soon!"

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It is impossible to tune out news about the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump now that the hearings have become public. And this means that cable news networks and Congress are happier than pigs in manure: this story will dominate the news for the foreseeable future unless Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt get back together.

But the wall-to-wall coverage of impeachment mania has also created a news desert. To those of you who would rather emigrate to North Korea than watch one more lawmaker grandstand for the cameras, I humbly offer you an oasis of news that has absolutely nothing to do with Washington intrigue.

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