10 Perks Military Families Often Forget


Every family has hectic days and busy schedules.  Military families are no different with the exception that their busy days include dangerous jobs, long term deployments of one or both spouses and the simple fact that the military didn’t issue a spouse and kids in the first place.  That is what an old Army Colonel used to tell, or yell at, young recruits, “Son, the Army didn’t issue your wife and kids.  Leave denied!”   The fact that a wife was in the hospital and two young kids needed care had no bearing whatsoever on what the Army required.  Fortunately, in the military, there are always kind neighbors willing to step in and help.

Is it any wonder that in the hectic and frequently worrisome situations of life, military families often forget about certain perks available to them?  Here is a list of 10 that are often overlooked.

FOOD DISCOUNTS
Who wouldn’t want a few discounts on food and snacks, especially when eating out? Many nation-wide eateries offer 10% or more in discounts to military personnel or their dependents.  Ben & Jerry’s discount is a generous 15-25% depending on the particular shop.  Others that offer discounts include, Arby’s, Back Yard Burgers, Bennigan’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Burger King, Chic-Fil-A, Chili’s and Denny’s among many others.

THEME PARK PERKS
What military family couldn’t use some theme park fun to unwind following a long separation due to deployment?  Seaworld® offers 1 free single day admission for any active duty member and up to 3 of his or her dependents.  Walt Disney World offers special pricing for active duty or retired military personnel and up to 6 friends and relatives.  The discount is quite generous on 4 day hopper passes and is subject to annual renewal.

NATIONAL PARKS
There are more than 400 national parks in the USA and most have no entrance fees, but for those that do, fees are waived or greatly discounted for military personnel.  For most National parks, discounts can be acquired through the America the Beautiful Pass.

MUSEUMS
Museums across the country, both private and public, typically offer discounts to active duty military members and their dependents.  The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in San Diego, Ca offers 10% off and free admissions on Tuesdays to student dependents.

HOTELS
If planning a vacation, look for discounts in advance. Some chains include a military discount in the booking price online such as the Hawaiian Inn in Daytona, Fl. Others just require proof of a military ID like Motel 6. Long-term extended stays such as Staybridge Suites offers a discount at over 200 different locations but has per diem rates.

WIRELESS & INTERNET SERVICES
Verizon Wireless, which boasts America’s Largest 4GLTE Network, offers special bundling programs for those serving the country, with special options for deployment time, which is helpful.  If Verizon isn’t your carrier, talk to your customer service agent and tell them what you would like to see in the future.  They may go ahead and arrange a discount or try to match their competition.

MOVIE THEATERS
We’re all used to getting less expensive tickets during matinee hours, but AMC Theaters offer $1.50 off ticket prices even for peak times.  Regal’s ticket price for military personnel is only $10 which is a dollar less than student tickets and almost all Cinemark theaters offer a discount at over 100 location across the U.S.

BANKS
USAA Banking, Navy Federal Credit Union and other national and local banks offer special services and lower fees to military personnel.

MOVING COMPANIES
Most people think he military itself does all the moving of personal belongings from one place to another.  It’s true that the military will handle these things but families sometimes move across town or need something moved from one state to another that doesn’t qualify under the military option.  Penske offers a military discount off truck rentals and is so gung-ho about giving good service, they created a special toll-free number for active duty personnel 1=844-4TROOPS.

NEW CARS
Get the GM Military Discount on eligible new vehicles including Chevy, Buick and GMC.

Typical daily life for anyone serving in the military, whether active duty or dependent, is fulfilling but difficult.  Don’t make the mistake of forgetting to take advantage of the discounts, big and small, that exist as a thank-you-for-your-service from businesses across the nation.  Simply ask about a military discount everywhere you go.  The worst thing that can happen is being told, “No, we don’t offer one at this time.”  And who knows, the question itself may bring about a new company policy.  Every little bit helps, right?  Ooh Rah!

What are your favorite perks? Share them with us!

chelsey-moterPosted by Chelsey Moter, military spouse

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