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Veterans salute and students stand during the playing of taps by the honor guard during Sanchez Elementary School's annual Veterans Day celebration Friday.

Veterans Day traces its roots to the ending of World War I on Nov. 11, 1918, or Armistice Day. Years after the war, Congress made th day a legal holiday.

In the 1950s, the proclamation was amended to replace “armistice” with “veterans,” thus making it Veterans Day.

The time men and women gave to serving in the U.S. armed forces grants them certain official privileges, such as a Veterans Administration-backed no-down-payment home loan and certain educational benefits.

But communities have taken the recognition further, with businesses offering a variety of things, from free meals to discounts on services.

CEREMONIES

American Legion Post 534 Ceremony

The American Legion Post 534 in Orcutt will honor military allies who fought alongside Americans in World War I during a ceremony observing the signing of the war’s armistice.

This year, the ceremony will honor military allied partners from the U.K., Canada and Australia who fought alongside Americans during the Great War.

The Vandenberg Air Force Base honor guard will perform a flag ceremony and Maj. Gen. Stephen N. Whiting, commander of the Combined Force Space Component Command, will give the keynote speech.

The ceremony starts promptly at 11 a.m. Monday at the Pine Grove Cemetery located at 1100 Stubblefield Road in Orcutt.

The Lompoc Elks Lodge

The Lompoc Elks Lodge, located at 905 E. Ocean Ave., will host its annual Veterans Day lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday. The public is invited to attend.

Entry is free for veterans and $5 for anyone else. In addition to pulled pork sandwiches for lunch, there will be live music, military displays and memorabilia to view.

For more information, contact Bob Schrum at 805-736-8866 or email office@lompocelks.com.

Lompoc Museum World War I documentary screening

The Lompoc Museum will honor World War I veterans with a screening of “They Shall Not Grow Old,” an award-winning documentary directed by Peter Jackson.

It’s the final scheduled event in the museum’s two years of programming dedicated to honoring the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

In addition to the film screening, the event also includes the presentation of a unique World War I artifact — an officers flask — that will be donated to the museum at 2 p.m. by Lawrence T. Vazquez.

The event runs from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Lompoc Museum located at 200 South H St. For more information, call 805-736-3888 or email Lompocmuseum@gmail.com.

19th annual Michael B. Clayton Veterans Barbecue

For the 19th year, Santa Maria lawyer Michael C. Clayton will hold a barbecue to honor and raise money for Central Coast veterans.

The barbecue will take place Monday from 10:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Hall at 313 W. Tunnell St. in Santa Maria.

The event is free for all veterans, reserve and active military and their immediate families. Otherwise, it’s $5 per plate.

All proceeds will be donated to the Echo Group nonprofit organization, otherwise known as the Band of Brothers.

Solvang Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7139

The Solvang Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7139 will honor Central Coast veterans on Monday with its annual ceremony.

The program will include music by the Santa Ynez Master Chorale, the Santa Ynez Valley Union High School bands and choir and will include such speakers as Col. Pete Flores, commander of the 14th Air Force Operations at Vandenberg Air Force Base and local VFW and American Legion members.

A free luncheon hosted by Pam Gnekow’s Country Garden Catering will follow the program and be served by the Daughters of the American Revolution and the American Heritage Girls.

The event runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Solvang VFW Post 7139 at 1745 Mission Drive.

FREEBIES

Cracker Barrel, 905 E. Betteravia Road 

Veterans and active duty military personnel can receive a free dessert Monday at the Santa Maria location.

Olive Garden, 1210 S. Bradley Road 

Veterans and active duty military personnel can get their meal completely paid for in full at the Santa Maria restaurant provided they bring proof of military service.

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Meals include one entrée from a special Veterans Day menu, garlic breadsticks and unlimited soup or salad.

Proof includes wearing your uniform for active duty personnel, showing military ID, a U.S. Uniform Services Retired ID card, current leave and earnings statement, or a veterans organization card.

Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Lab, 725 E. Betteravia Road

Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Lab at 725 E. Betteravia Road in Santa Maria is offering a free ice cream cone Monday to all veterans and active duty military personnel. Proof of service is required.

7-Eleven, various locations

Veterans with a Veterans Advantage account can link their account to the store’s 7Rewards loyalty program to receive freebies, including a free cup of coffee on Veterans Day.

Applebee’s, 1415 S. Bradley Road 

The Santa Maria restaurant will offer a free meal from a special Veterans Day menu Monday.

Buffalo Wild Wings, 795 E. Betteravia Road 

Buffalo Wild Wings in Santa Maria is offering a free small order of boneless wings and fries Monday.

Chipotle, 232 E. Betteravia Road 

The Santa Maria restaurant is offering a buy-one-get-one-free for in-restaurant dining only Monday.

Chuck E. Cheese, 2254 S. Bradley Road 

Chuck E. Cheese in Santa Maria will offer a free personal one-topping pizza Monday.

Dunkin’ (Donuts), 1486 S. Broadway

The Santa Maria donut shop is offering one free donut Monday.

Hometown Buffet, 1431 S. Bradley Road 

Active duty, reserve and retired military personnel in uniform or with a valid ID can receive 15 percent off on Military Mondays, including Nov. 11.

Kohl’s, 2501 S. Broadway

Kohl’s in Santa Maria is offering double its military discount, increasing it from 15 to 30 percent, on Monday.

Little Caesar’s, various locations

The restaurant is offering a free Hot-N-Ready lunch combo between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday.

Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, 2202 S. Bradley Road 

Menchie’s in Santa Maria is offering 6 ounces of frozen yogurt free Monday.

Red Lobster, 1525 S. Bradley Road 

Red Lobster in Santa Maria is offering a free appetizer or dessert Monday for dine-in and takeout orders picked up in the restaurant.

Red Robin, 101 Town Center East 

Red Robin in the Santa Maria mall will offer a free Red’s Tavern Double Burger with fries meal Monday.

Starbucks, various locations

Veterans, active duty service members and their spouses can receive a free cup of coffee Monday.

Wienerschnitzel, 500 E. Main St. 

The Santa Maria restaurant is offering a free meal and drink Monday.

The Home Depot, 2120 S. Bradley Road 

Veterans can receive a 10 percent discount on in-store purchases on select items in the Santa Maria store.

Walgreens, various locations

Military, veterans and their families can receive a 20 percent discount from Nov. 8 to 11. Walgreens also provides free flu shots for VA-enrolled veterans.

Veterans Day Series: Go through this collection of our 'Stories of Honor' profiles

'Stories of Honor' is a series spotlighting veterans on the Central Coast, their lives, and their contributions to our country. Take a look through this collection of stories and get to know some of the everyday heroes in our community. The special print edition of this series is available in Sunday's newspaper.                                                                          

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Bindo Grasso is one of the last of his kind. A Pathfinder with the 101st Airborne Division during World War II, he parachuted into France the night before D-Day to light the way for fellow paratroopers. Nearly 75 years later, sitting in his Guadalupe home with granddaughter Stacey Moody, herself a Desert Storm veteran, Grasso, 96, recalled the flight over France into enemy territory on the night of June 5, 1944, and shared memories of events that shaped the course of world history.

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Many people know Lee Carroll as an easy-going CPA. But before he was crunching numbers, he learned attention to detail in the Army.  “I’m proud of it, but then I think anybody that does go around talking I was a Green Beret, then you kind of doubt what it is they really did.”

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In 1968, Roger Welt was an Army combat correspondent at the height of the Vietnam War. Welt’s job was to document warfare under the auspices of the U.S. Army. It might sound like Full Metal Jacket, but Welt said he always felt like Charlie Sheen's disillusioned dropout in Platoon.

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Jim Kunkle’s military service during World War II turned him into a celebrity. Kunkle was a P-38 fighter pilot who fought German Luftwaffe over Nazi-occupied Europe and was shot down during a dogfight. But not before downing some enemy aircraft in the process, which later earned him a Distinguished Service Cross (that’s one step below the Medal of Honor).

 

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