Applebee's salutes "Neighborhood Heroes" for Veteran's Day

By: Paige Quiggins Email
By: Paige Quiggins Email

Neighborhood Grills across the country are giving out freebies.

“We are saluting our troops basically, we have got free food for all of our veterans,” said Hazard Applebee’s General Manager Eric Kane.

Certain Applebee's workers are serving more than just tables.

“I like to talk to people and I get that through serving tables and also being in the military i get to serve people and help them,” said Private John Amis of U.S. Army National Guard out of Richmond, KY. Amis said he has been actively serving for two years but hopes he will be deployed overseas in the future.

All veterans were given a special menu and had seven signature items to choose from, free of charge. The staff also handed out “Saluting Our Neighborhood Heroes” thank you cards for guests to sign which will be sent to troops overseas.

Veteran servers said that little messages like that really mean a lot.

“They don't get honored as much as they should, so by doing that you are honoring them in a way that is special to them,” said Amis.

They said the comments from the public have been uplifting, and it has not hurt them in collecting their tips for the evening.

“Every table has told me thank you so far,” said Sergeant Michael Gabbard of the U.S. Army National Guard. Gabbard said he has been serving for 11 years and has been overseas to Iraq.

“They ask me if I am still in the guard and stuff like that so it is good getting recognition from the people around here, I am proud of that.”

Management staff said they believe it is great to work for a company who appreciates the community around them.

“Truly as a veteran it is an honor to give back to veterans that have given so much before us so we can carry on with our everyday lives in a safe country,” said Navy Veteran and Kitchen Manager Sandy Combs.

All of the veterans on staff said that they have one message for their fellow current and former members of the armed forces.

“I would like to say thanks to all of the vets and Happy Veteran's Day to everybody,” said Gabbard.

Gabbard said he had echoed that message several times throughout his dayshift to people he knew from being deployed overseas with who came into the restaurant to eat. The management staff agree that the company knows it is important to pay tribute to those who serve.

“Thank you for the opportunity to give us the chance to give back and say thank you for all that you have done for us to have our freedom so that we can live in a safe country,” said Combs.

“God bless you and thank you for all you do and all you have done,” Amis said.

Kane said that these free meals are only a part of the "Thank You Movement" that Applebee's across the nation are taking part in. To learn more about it, just visit

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