The Thing About Military Discounts

Posted on May 8, 2012 · 3 min read

I have a magnetic attraction to discounts.  Since I was old enough to count I’ve realized there was a percentage that could be taken off of any item I desired. As I grew older and became an avid discount shopper and Extreme Coupon viewer, I started to categorize the discounts available; military, student, organizations; the list goes on and on. But having family members in the military, I was particularly interested in the discounts offered to that group. Every deal I came across I checked for possible savings even if it was a coupon for Dog Chow or money off driveway paving.

U.S. Airforce logoI contacted my Uncle Mike, who began serving in the Air Force in 1988. After his discharge in ’94 he continued working in service industries like the fire department and at one point, as a mountain guide in Canada.  But he realized he was better suited for life in the military. So, in ’97 he reenlisted and has been actively serving ever since.

From past conversations, I know he has been very aware of military discounts in general, but I wanted to get a little deeper into his experiences with them.

“I don’t usually take advantage of the military discounts.” Uncle Mike started out with. “But when I do, it’s once a month when we have a team breakfast at a local restaurant. It’s my personal belief that we as the military should not receive discounts just because of the career path we have chosen.  No, I do not ask merchants if they have military discounts.”

Appreciation Goes A Long Way.

“To me, the greatest and most meaningful thing any one person, merchant or company can do is just say thanks and truly mean it.”

He goes on to say, “Starbucks is a good example of one of the bigger pro-military companies in our area. At home station, when we go into a Starbucks in uniform, they automatically give us discounts. When we are on the road (and normally in our tactical uniform) it is not uncommon for Starbucks to ‘pay’ for our coffee. In addition, Starbucks makes every effort to ensure deployed military members also get their coffee….Even though I do not typically use a discount, just knowing that a merchant is willing to give us that benefit and respects what we are doing, they will earn my business. Respect goes a long way.”

It’s Not About the Monetary Value, It’s About Understanding

“To me, it says that the business may not believe in what is going on in the world, but that they respect what military members are sacrificing. As a business a military discount is a great way to show the respect and appreciation for what service members have done and the sacrifice they have made.  The discount doesn’t need to be large; it just needs to be present enough to show you care.”

A business that offers a military discount makes a definitive statement to our men and women in the service. It gives them a sense of being appreciated. That appreciation can translate into a lifetime of patronage.  Not a bad thing.

Chelle Parmele by Chelle Parmele