The 20-piece wing dinner at Pluckers.

The following three restaurants are offering special deals for United States military veterans on Friday.

Veterans, and everyone in their party, get 50 percent off their entire meals (including alcohol) at Hopdoddy Burger Bar all day Friday. (

Armed services veterans will receive a complimentary entree, side and non-alcoholic beverage at all Pluckers Wing Bar locations on Friday in honor of Veterans Day. (

Veterans will get the choice of one free “sharable” item, including wings, tempura shrimp, calamari, etc., at Ra Sushi on Friday.

Speaking of Veterans Day …

A few months ago, I was on the rooftop at the cocktail bar Backbeat. It was a hot, humid day, and I joked with my server, Gregory Lammers, about the oppressive heat that felt as if it had reached 120 degrees earlier in the summer. He asked if I had ever felt that kind of heat and then explained to me what it was actually like.

He had served in Afghanistan. An Austin summer was a cakewalk by comparison. He wasn’t saying it to brag, — more as a way to make conversation and commiserate. His history of service surprised me, and I don’t know why, exactly. I guess it was his tattoos and hip, rock vibe, but I didn’t expect that he’d be a veteran. But when I thought about it, it made sense: He was polite, exacting and professional.

The interaction made me acknowledge that service industry workers don’t all fit the same profile and that neither do our military veterans. After a few minutes of thought, the correlation between the two fields actually made good sense, and I thought back to the chef and military veteran with whom I worked at a barbecue restaurant in Washington ages ago.

That afternoon at Backbeat made me want to reach out to other veterans and ask them about their service in both the military and the hospitality industry. It seemed like the best way I could to acknowledge and thank our veterans (including my father, a veteran of the U.S. Army) on Veterans Day.

Find out what four veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces and Austin’s hospitality industry had to say about their service experiences in both sectors by reading my story on