Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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October 31, 2013

Appreciating Vets

Businesses team up to give week-long discounts to veterans

Area businesses and associations are teaming up once again to offer discounts to area veterans as part of Military Appreciation Days.

Sponsored by the Military Foundation, the week leading up to Veterans Day will feature a variety of events geared around those who fight for our freedoms.

In addition, 75 businesses will be offering discounts and free items for veterans beginning Saturday and running through Nov. 11. The event’s kick-off with the 5th Annual Military Appreciation Ball from 7 p.m. to midnight Friday at the Ivy Tech Kokomo Event Center.

An opening ceremony to begin the week will be at 10 a.m. Monday at the Stephen A. Daily Government Center (City Hall).

Discounts ranging from chiropractic services to free lawnmower blade sharpening to a number of food discounts are available throughout the week.

Rick Riddle, former manager of the Golden Corral Restaurant, came up with the idea of having a week-long celebration for veterans in 2009. Riddle for years offered free meals to veterans on Veterans Day and wanted to expand on that by teaming up with different businesses in the city. That first year, 38 businesses were involved. It’s now expanded to 75, said Gary Loveless, coordinator for the Military Appreciation Days.

“This is growing to the point where people are looking forward to it,” said Loveless of the week.

“We’re pleased and proud that the military foundation can continue to put this on in support of our military personnel and veterans in Kokomo and Howard County,” he said.

Chris Roegner, owner of Half Moon Restaurant & Brewery, took over as president after Riddle left Kokomo. Riddle is now manager of the Golden Corral in Evansville.

“Rick for years as had his own Military Appreciation Monday for veterans. He came to me and ask if I could do the same type of thing and I said ‘absolutely,” said Roegner. “I shared his vision of a city-wide campaign to show our appreciation to military families.”

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