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Military & Veterans' Issues

Veterans Day events, closures and deals happening around San Antonio

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U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ethan Sherwood
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DVIDS
More than 1,400 American flags were placed at the graves of veterans by San Angelo residents at the Fairmount Cemetery in San Angelo, Texas, Nov. 11, 2019.

Thursday is Veterans Day, and the San Antonio community and communities in the surrounding area are coming together to celebrate those who have served in the U.S. military.

City Hall and most municipal offices will be closed Thursday. City administrative offices, community centers and libraries will all be closed.

Public safety and emergency services will be on duty.

For a full list of which services will be operating, click here.

Events

Hemisfair Park

From 4-9 p.m., there will be a Veterans Day event at Hemisfair's Yanaguana Garden. Those coming will hear music from the U.S. Army Band "35 To Nowhere," The Spazmatics and The Last Bandoleros.

Admission is free, and there will be food, a memorial flag garden, and veteran-owned businesses represented.

San Antonio Zoo

The San Antonio Zoo is offering free admission to military personnel for the entire month of November. Zoo Salutes, presented by the USAA Foundation, honors active duty, retired, and veteran members of the military, as well as National Guard and reserves.

Military members must show valid ID at the zoo’s front gate in order to claim their ticket.

Up to four guests can receive half off standard admission on the day of their visit, too.

Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery

The Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery will host two ceremonies to honor those who served.

The first begins at 10 a.m. and features music from the 323rd Army Band and the Texas Children’s Choir. Robert West of the 12th Flying Training Wing at Joint Base San Antonio — Randolph will be the keynote speaker. A veterans naturalization ceremony will take place onsite.

Later that afternoon, at 1:40 p.m., the Department of Veterans Affairs is partnering with the San Antonio Chapter of the Buffalo Soldiers for another event — this time featuring keynote speaker Shan Bagby, Commanding General of the U.S. Army Regional Health Command.

All community members are invited to attend.

National Museum of the Pacific War

The National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg is hosting a virtual Veterans Day program to show support for our nation’s veterans. The program features a keynote by World War II veteran DG “Mac” McWilliams about his military experience in the Marine Corps, as well as other veteran voices. Two middle school bands from the area will round out the event with music, including a medley of military anthems. The event is accessible through the museum’s website.

The Pacific War Museum is also hosting a traveling exhibit titled Honor, Courage, Commitment: Marine Corps Art from 1975 to 2018. The show includes 36 works by 15 combat artists, portraying Marine Corps service from the mid-1970s through the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Other activities

Wedding ceremonies for active and retired service members

Bexar County Clerk Lucy Adame-Clark on Friday will be conducting free wedding ceremonies for the active and retired U.S. service members in honor of Veterans Day.

There is a suggested donation of $20 to help benefit the Operation Home Front for military families.

A marriage license must be obtained at least 72 hours prior to their appointment, but there are some exceptions.

The waiting period is not required if an applicant is a member of the U.S. armed forces and is on active duty or completes a certified Premarital Education Course OR a judge waives the waiting period for good cause.

Marriage licenses can be obtained on the first floor of the Paul Elizondo Tower at 101 W. Nueva Street.

The fee for a marriage license is $81 and both applicants must provide proof of identity and age as well as their Social Security number

Free admission to Texas state parks

Visitors to Texas State Parks can enjoy a free, day-use pass on Nov. 14 in honor of Veterans Day.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department encourages visitors to reserve their day passes in advance. Parks within driving distance of Bexar County include the Guadalupe River State Park, Lockhart state Park, and Blanco State Park.

Visit tpwd.texas.gov or call 512-389-8900 for park information and reservations

Deals for active duty and veteran service members

Businesses and organizations are showing their support for military service this year with various discounts and deals for active duty and veteran service members and their families. Military Times has compiled a list of discounts and deals on services, retail and more.

Food

Applebee's: A full-size entrée for dine-in only. Veterans will receive a $5 gift card to redeem for dine-in, to-go or delivery to be used within three weeks.

Buffalo Wild Wings: A free order of 10 boneless wings and fries, valid for dine-in or takeout only.

California Pizza Kitchen: A free meal and beverage from a select menu, including a choice of pizza, pasta or full-size salads, dine-in only.

Denny's: A free "Build Your Own Grand Slam" from 5 a.m. to noon, dine-in only.

Freddy's Frozen Custard and Steakburgers: A card for a free Original Double combo meal, which is valid through Nov. 30.

IHOP: Free red, white and blueberry pancakes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., dine-in only.

Little Caesars: A free Hot-N-Ready Lunch Combo from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., including four slices of the Detroit-style deep-dish pizza and a 20 oz. Pepsi product.

Retail

Home Depot: A 10% discount year-round, maximum $400 per year. To enroll, visit homedepot.com/auth/view/signin.

Lowe's: A 10% discount year-round. To enroll, visit Lowes.com/military.

Office Depot: A 25% discount for active duty, veterans and their dependents from Nov. 11-13. Also applies to OfficeMax stores. Some product exclusions apply.

Target: A 10% discount on all in-basket items online and in-store through Nov. 13.

For a longer list of discounts on services, retail and food, click here.

The Military Desk at Texas Public Radio is made possible in part by North Park Lincoln and Rise Recovery.

Carson Frame and Kathleen Creedon contributed to this story.