Saturday, February 23, 2019

15 Amazing Freebies and Discounts for Military and Veterans

Hubby spent 22 years in the US Navy which has benefited both of us in a whole bunch of money-saving ways.  As a veteran, he--often we--are entitled to a whole bunch of fabulous, money-saving things including:

  1. This long list of military discounts.
  2. Military medical benefits for life (hubby walked into the hospital having a heart attack and walked out with four stents and a boatload of medicine that he will have to take for life for a grand total of $0!).
  3. $0 down VA home loans (we have bought two houses using this wonderful program; did you know if you use a VA home loan you don't pay PMI even if you put zero down?).
  4. Our county offers an exemption program for veterans which saves us about $150 on our car registration each year.
  5. Both active duty military and vets qualify for a variety of education benefits (hubby learned how to weld with his education benefits after he retired).
  6. A military pension for life (on top of this, many states don't tax military pensions so it's kind of like an extra discount).
  7. Free tax return preparation (I do our taxes myself but it's good to know this benefit is available).
  8. Free legal assistance (we had our wills prepared for free and the base legal office provides other free legal services as well).
  9. Free airline flights (the Space A program offers free flights all over the world to military members, veterans, and their dependents).
  10. Veterans get a whole bunch of job benefits--from extra points towards civil service jobs to assistance with starting their own business).
  11. In our local area, several casinos offer free buffets for active duty, veterans, and their dependents for both Veteran's Day and Memorial Day.
  12. Local casinos also offer special benefits for veterans including discounts on buffets and beverages, free parking, etc.
  13. I haven't checked out the military death/funeral benefits yet but this is another good money-saving benefit.
  14. Unfortunately there are a lot of homeless veterans on the streets these days but the military has several programs to help them.
  15. Access to all kinds of base resources.  If you are a veteran and live near a military base you can access the gym and swimming pool for free, watch movies on base, shop at the commissary and BX, take advantage of MWR programs, etc.
Being in the military isn't easy and if you retire after 20+ years from the military you are pretty much guaranteed to miss everything from the birth of your kids to birthdays, anniversaries, summer vacations, and holiday but, on the positive side, there are a lot of good benefits that military members get to enjoy.


  1. 22 years in the navy for us as well! We used to joke that the first thing my husband had to turn in at a new duty station was a list of all important family dates or events so they could be sure he was deployed.

    We have used and are using so many of these benefits, and still say the best decision we ever made was staying in for retirement even though there were several times we wanted to leave. We now have Tricare for Life, and combined with Medicare we never see a bill. The new options for dental and vision insurance are great too, and very affordable.

    A couple of other benefits: For active duty and retired, there are great hotels at great destinations, at a fraction of what you'd spend otherwise in the area (The New Sanno Hotel in Tokyo, Shades of Green in Orlando, the Hale Koa on Waikiki, Camp Kilauea on the Big Island, and beach cottages out at Barking Sands on Kauai are just a few). Add these to Space A travel and you can have a VERY affordable vacation. Plus, you can get discounted tickets to many attractions such as Disneyland or Disney World or others places.

    Home Depot gives a year-round 10% discount to all active duty or retired military. All veterans get 10% off on Veteran's Day. Starbucks also runs specials on Veteran's Day.

    1. Thanks for the additional information! I didn't know about hotel discounts, other than base lodging, so we will be sure to look into that for our next vacation!