Military Discount a Benefit, Not an Entitlement

Dorian Uson, Staff Writer

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As many may know (or not know), many retail stores (American Eagle, Eddie Bauer, Gap, Forever 21, etc.) and restaurants (Oliver Garden, BJ’s Brewery, Denny’s, etc.) offer military members and their families a “military discount.” This discount is usually offered to all active duty military, as well as retired military, and often this discount is extended to military dependents as well. Of course, not all businesses offer these discounts, but so many businesses do offer a discount, especially in a military town like San Diego. That many recipients of these discounts often expect to receive a discount everywhere they do business.  Is it acceptable for military members to demand the discount? Are military personnel entitled to a discount everywhere they go? No. They are not entitled to anything.

A Military discount is typically around 10%  though it can be as high as 20%, and on Veterans Day many of these same establishments offer free food and discounted products to veterans and military members. There are many businesses that support the efforts  of the troops and encourage the military discount. However, if a business decides to not offer any promotion concerning military discount, then it is not the jurisdiction of the military person to demand such treatment.

The men and women of the armed services do a lot for their country; some even pay the ultimate price. They risk their lives so Americans at home don’t have to. Military families go months without seeing their service member , so we can see our loved ones every day. The military families sacrifice almost as much as those serving. They live their daily lives without their spouses, moms, dads, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, etc. Not knowing if they are safe and sometimes not hearing from them for weeks. The military discount should not be considered something they are entitled to (because quite frankly no one is entitled to anything that isn’t in the constitution) ,but it is a well-earned (and deserved) benefit.

Offering a 10% discount to military families almost isn’t enough to show appreciation. The benefit is there for businesses to be able to show their appreciation for all that the military does but it is not something that the military should enforce upon businesses. It is a courtesy to those that serve and to walk into a place of business and demand a discount is unheard of. That would be like marching into a restaurant that hasn’t advertised free food on veteran’s day and demanding a free meal. No one does that, so don’t demand a discount on a regular basis. According to Rebecca Lehman’s article on Brad’s Deals, there is a long list of businesses that give military discounts. Over 230 businesses offer the military discount as long as you provide a valid military ID, but some are at the discretion of the manager. So, instead of going into a business that doesn’t offer a discount and demanding one, why not check out the extensive list that does offer discounts and shop at those establishments. We vote with our dollar we tend to see other businesses following suit. According to Mona Chalabi from FiveThirtyPoint, only about .4 percent of the United States populations is still serving in the military, there isn’t too much to be lost by business offering discounts to this small minority of the population.


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