Veteran's Day has a special meaning for Applebee's General Manager Jennifer Hansen. Her husband, Jeff, was killed in Iraq in 2006.
"It's a hard day for me. Sometimes there's tears especially as Jeff's friends and family come in. You get to hear different stories about him, so for me it's tough. But there are also people who come in and are just so thankful. It's a day that everyone is happy and just thankful for what we're doing," said Hansen.
Hansen isn't the only one for whom Veteran's day hits home. Waitress Jayne Davis has a son in the National Guard. She says they want our veterans to know they are appreciated.
"I think we have forgotten what these men and women have done for America. We are here today because of them and I am just so grateful to thank them," said Davis.
For these reasons, the staff at Applebee's know the free meals are just a small way to thank and honor servicemen and women who have bravely served our county.
"It has become an annual thing to honor our veterans and we love working this day. It's an honor to us and we are so grateful to all our military personnel, and to be able to serve them as they have served us in just a small way," said Davis.
Although the day weighs heavy on her heart, Hansen says the overall message is greater than a single person.
"For everyone to just come together and be unified for our soldiers, that's what's really important," said Hansen.