In addition to annual Veterans Day celebrations in New York, Washington, D.C. and elsewhere, several businesses commemorate the yearly holiday with deals and discounts for our service members and military spouses to boot. Now, one popular chain is expanding on its yearly freebie that service members will be sure to partake in.
On Friday, Nov. 11, Starbucks will be again offering free coffee to active military service members, veterans and military spouses. This year, the purveyors of Pike Place have broadened the offer to include iced coffee as well.
“At Starbucks, we believe veterans, service members and military spouses make our company better and communities stronger,” a Starbucks spokesperson said in a statemen to TODAY Food. “With Veterans Day around the corner, we wanted to share with you how Starbucks will continue to honor the military community on November 11 and beyond.”
The coffee chain is also donating $200,000 this year to two veteran-focused nonprofits as well. The money will be split evenly between Team Red, White & Blue, an organization focused on veteran health and wellness and Team Rubicon, an organization that uses military veteran’s expertise to provide disaster relief.
Starbucks said that while Veterans Day is only one day out of the year, the company’s commitment to supporting the military community is a year-round effort.
According to the company, more than 7,700 veterans and military spouses have been hired across Starbucks roles in the U.S. during fiscal year 2021. Veteran employees can also extend their Starbucks College Achievement Plan benefit to a family member as well. That benefit allows for fully paid tuition for a first-time bachelor’s degree through Arizona State University’s online program.
In addition, the coffee juggernaut has instituted 109 Military Family Stores, which are Starbucks locations that are located near military bases and serve as a hub for local communities around each military base to unwind and form bonds with each other.
Since its official debut, Veterans Day has been marked to honor American veterans of all wars. First proposed by World War II veteran Raymond Weeks in 1947 as an expansion of Armistice Day, its predecessor, which was instituted to honor World War I veterans. Veterans Day was declared as an official holiday seven years later, on Oct. 8, 1954 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.