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11/10/2021

How C-store Retailers Are Saluting the Military This Veterans Day

Free offers, discounts on food and beverages, and support for military-related nonprofit groups are among the initiatives.

NATIONAL REPORT — Convenience store retailers across the country are recognizing U.S. active-duty military and veterans this Veterans Day (Nov. 11) with a variety of free offers, discounts on food and beverages, and support for military-related nonprofit groups.

Casey's General Stores Inc. 

From Nov. 130, Casey's is asking guests to be "Here For Good" by saluting all service members, past and present, and their families by rounding up their purchases to benefit Hope For The Warriors (HOPE) and Children of Fallen Patriots.

"Casey's and its guests are proud to support our nation's heroes and their families," said Darren Rebelez, CEO of Casey's, and veteran of the United States Army. "Last year our guests joined us in saluting the men and women who have served this great country by raising over $1.4 million for these two extraordinary organizations. As a veteran, I am humbled each year by the generosity of our guests and am proud of the good Casey's and its guests spread to our service members and their families."

There are two additional ways guests can donate to this year's campaign:

  • Make it a Hero Deal: When guests add a 2-liter Pepsi product to their Casey's Share Pack Meal purchase, $1 will be donated to the campaign, up to $25,000 from PepsiCo.
  • Share using #HereForVets: $1 will be donated each time the #HereForVets hashtag is used on Twitter or Instagram during the month of November, up to $100,000 from Casey's.

"Pepsi is honored to stand together with Casey's in support of the military heroes who have served and protected our country," said Neil Pryor, president, PepsiCo Beverages North America, Central Division. "Through our annual PepsiCo Rolling Remembrance relay, we are proud to have raised over $1.2 million for the Children of Fallen Patriots organization over the past six years and will continue to support veterans across the Heartland and beyond alongside such dedicated partners like Casey's."

Casey's has worked with HOPE since 2012. The organization actively serves 4,279 warriors in communities that the convenience operator serves. Additionally, the retailer partners with Children of Fallen Patriots to provide assistance, resources and scholarships to military children who've lost a parent in the line of duty. In 2020, Casey's raised $700,000 for the organization.

Last year, Casey's and its guests donated more than $1.4 million to help veterans and their families.

As an added salute, Casey's encourages all service members past and present to visit on Veterans Day to receive a free cup of coffee.

Headquartered in Ankeny, Iowa, Casey's operates more than 2,300 convenience stores.

GPM Investments LLC 

GPM, a wholly owned subsidiary of Richmond, Va.-based Arko Corp., is offering free any size coffee to veterans across its approximately 1,415 company-operated stores.

Love's Travel Stops

Oklahoma City-based Love's is thanking the military by offering a food and drink deal on Veterans Day. Veterans or current members of the military can get a free roller grill item and fountain drink or coffee with the purchase of one roller grill item at participating locations.

Additionally, when customers purchase a 24-ounce, special edition Operation Homefront tumbler throughout the month of November, $5 from the sale will go to the organization while supplies last. Love's will donate up to $150,000 to Operation Homefront from the sale of the mug, combined with a gift from the company.

"This is just a small way to say 'thank you' to our veterans and current military members on Veterans Day," said Jenny Love Meyer, chief culture officer and executive vice president of Love's. "We'll continue to find ways to support Operation Homefront for the life-changing work they do."

Operation Homefront provides critical financial assistance, rent-free housing, caregiver support and recurring support programs throughout the year to help military families overcome the short-term bumps in the road, so they don't become long-term chronic problems. Ninety percent of Operation Homefront's expenditures go directly to programs that help military families.

Love's Travel Stops is the nation's leading travel stop network with more than 560 locations in 41 states. 

Maverik Inc. 

Maverik will sell patriotic star-shaped raised doughnuts with vanilla icing and red and blue stripes. Additionally, a special Veterans Day bundle includes any-size hot beverage and a doughnut for $2. The bundle excludes maple bacon doughnuts and fritters.

Salt Lake City-based Maverik operates more than 370 locations across 12 western states.

Mirabito Convenience Stores

In recognition of Veterans Day, Mirabito is offering a free any-size coffee to veterans. To receive the offer, they need to simply show a valid ID.

"There is no better time than now to show our Veterans and their families how thankful we are for the sacrifices they have made to protect and defend our rights and freedom," said Joe Mirabito, CEO of Mirabito Convenience Stores. "As a small token of our appreciation, we hope they'll enjoy a coffee on us this Veterans Day."

Family-owned and operated, the Mirabito family of companies operates in nine states with multiple divisions, including home energy products and services, c-stores, wholesale energy products and services, natural gas and electric, and Mirabito Truck Repair.

Pilot Co.

In celebration of Veterans Day, Pilot is inviting all active duty and retired military members to enjoy a free meal at any of its 680-plus participating quick-service restaurants or more than 750 travel centers across the United States.

Veterans authenticated with ID.me in the myRewards Plus app can save their exclusive offer for a $10 free meal credit. Veterans can choose from a variety of food and beverages, including Pilot coffee, fountain drinks, non-alcoholic cooler beverages, hot and cold food items, name-brand snacks and purchases.

Additionally, Pilot is teaming up with the Call of Duty Endowment on an in-store round-up campaign to help veterans transition to successful careers after the military. Guests at participating Pilot and Flying J Travel Centers can join the Endowment's mission by rounding up their purchase from Oct. 25 – Nov. 15.

Pilot will match the donations up to $100,000 and 100 percent of the proceeds from the round-up will go directly to the Endowment. This year's campaign aims to raise $500,000 — enough to support nearly 1,000 veterans in their transition into post-military careers.

The travel center operator has been a supporter of the Endowment since 2019, contributing toward the organization's goal of placing 100,000 veterans into high-quality jobs by 2024.

"We are proud to be a veteran-founded company and we want to honor our servicemen and women whenever we have the opportunity," said Shameek Konar, CEO of Pilot Co. "Working with the Call of Duty Endowment is an amazing way to help veterans find a great career after they've graciously served our country. We have many veteran team members and guests and look forward to showing them our appreciation by welcoming them to our stores for a free meal on us."

Rutter's

As a thank-you to the Armed Forces, Rutter's will honor veterans and active military by offering a free coffee of any size to those in uniform or who present a valid military ID.

"We appreciate all of those who have served to protect our country," said Chris Hartman, Rutter's director of Fuels, Forecourt and Advertising. "All of us at Rutter's want to recognize, and thank, these heroic members of our communities."

The offer is valid at all of Rutter's 79 locations in Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia.

Sheetz Inc.

On Nov. 11, Sheetz invites all veterans and active duty military personnel to enjoy a free half turkey or ham sub and a regular size fountain drink at any of its 635 store locations throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio and North Carolina.

The retailer will also provide a free car wash to veterans and active duty military. This offer only applies at Sheetz stores that have a car wash. Military ID or proof of service must be presented to qualify.

Stewart's Shops

To honor veterans and show its gratitude, all Stewart's Shops customers can enjoy a 50-cent single scoop cone on Nov. 11.

Saratoga Springs, N.Y.-based Stewart's Shops operates more than 345 c-stores in 31 counties across upstate New York and southern Vermont.

TravelCenters of America Inc. (TA)

All active-duty military, veterans and reservists are invited to enjoy a complimentary meal on Veterans Day at participating quick-service and full-service restaurants nationwide.

They will need to proof of service to their restaurant server prior to ordering. Proof of service includes U.S. Uniformed Services ID card, current Leave and Earnings Statement (LES), veterans organization membership card, photograph in uniform, DD214 form, a citation or commendation.

Guests may also see Fallen Soldier Tables on display at the restaurants on Veterans Day. This single place setting at an empty table is the humble the travel center operator remembers and honors the sacrifices of those who gave their lives to protect our freedom, according to TA.

Westlake, Ohio-based TA operates more than 275 locations in 44 states and Canada principally under the TA, Petro Stopping Centers and TA Express brands. It also operates more than 600 full-service and quick-service restaurants and nine proprietary brands, including Iron Skillet and Country Pride. 

Wawa Inc.

The Pennsylvania-based operator is again offering free hot coffee of any size to veterans, active military members and their families all day on Nov. 11 across its network of 940 stores throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Florida.

Service members can either present a military ID or identify oneself at the register to redeem the free coffee offer.

"At Wawa supporting our military is part of our DNA and each year, Veterans Day gives us a chance to thank our service members, and, in our own small way, give something back to these brave and dedicated men and women," said Wawa President and CEO Chris Gheysens. "Once again, we plan to honor our military and their families with free coffee on Veterans Day, and also through a care package assembly at our Wawa headquarters the Tuesday before Veterans Day. In its 11th year, we've been providing service members abroad with a Taste of Home through our coffee care packages, and we are passionate about continuing this tradition for years to come."

Additionally, Operation Taste of Home care packages are an annual tradition organized by Wawa associates and supported by the USO of Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey (Liberty USO), who together help send more than 5,000 care packages to service members currently deployed. 

In addition to the 5,000 Taste of Home care packages, Wawa associates and USO volunteers assembled 3,100 care packages in central Florida for those returning from deployment and 500 care packages for deployed marines at Quantico supporting Operations Allies Afghan Refugees at its grand opening celebration of its newest store in Camp Springs, Md., for a record-breaking total of nearly 10,000 donated care packages.

The Wawa Foundation will also present a check to the USO for $930,000 from funds raised through in-store coin and scan campaigns held at every Wawa store during this summer.