Free Meal for Military and Retirees on July 4


This is a sponsored post on behalf of TravelCenters of America. All opinions are the author’s.

Refuel! Replenish! Refresh! TravelCenters of America’s slogan should be the motto for every military family on the road moving, visiting family, or vacationing this summer. That slogan speaks deeply to me.

As a Navy spouse of 20 years, with an active duty husband, two kids, and two dogs, , my family and I are road warriors! We have crisscrossed the country combining scenic stops while still trying to beat the movers to our next duty station. And we’ve always needed to take a little bit of time to refuel, replenish, and refresh ourselves (and the dogs!).

That’s why MilitaryOneClick is thrilled to announce that both active and retired military members will receive a free meal on July 4th at TravelCenters of America across the country. It’s their way of saying thank you to the military community and helping make your trip a little more comfortable.

In addition, during the next six weeks, TravelCenters of America is also teaming up with the National Military Family Association, one of our favorite partner organizations here at MilitaryOneClick.com. From June 28 to August 5, participating Country Pride and Iron Skillet locations will donate $1.00 to the NMFA for each entrée ordered from a select group of menu items.

Whether you enjoy a free meal on July 4 or order a meal in support of NMFA this summer, a stop at a TA is a must-do for military families. So are these other others that keep our family refueled, replenished, and refreshed:

Electronics

I know what you are going to say…no electronics on a road trip. I wish we were the Griswold Family singing and looking out the window at all of the pretty scenery the entire trip, but we are not. Well, my husband and I still are, but the kids are on their phones, iPads, iPods, and whatever else that beeps.

This is pretty much how it goes in our car: “Kids, look at that beautiful mountain… kids, kids, KIDS!” I could fight the electronic battle– but I also like the time in the car to catch up with my husband and listen to 80’s on 8 with no one complaining. (Don’t forget to pack the kid’s mandatory headphones and chargers!)

Food

When we decide to take a food break, most of the time it is at a TravelCenters of America. Our kids love to explore the store and look at all of their options for food, snacks, and drinks. There is a welcoming feeling and family environment at that you just don’t get at fast food along the road.

Games

We’re not on our electronics the whole time, and we do break into our Griswold family every few hours with playing some sort of game. Our favorite is guess the movie sound track – where everyone takes a turn belting out songs like “Let it Go” at the top of their lungs. Even the dogs start howling. We also pack trivia cards– we are huge trivia fans. You can get them for all age kids and it is nice to break up the electronics – so go for the traditional cards, not the app versions.

The Quick Bag

We always pack a small bag with just what we need for that night for the four of us and the dogs. It includes dog food, bathing suits for the hotel pool, toiletries, PJs, and comfy clothes for the next day. (I am married to a Navy guy –“Efficiency” is his middle name.)

Give Back

An easy way to give back to the community is to find a stop at a Travel Center of America and have a meal that gives back to the military community.  While you’re on the road, you can find the nearest TA location here. Dine at an Iron Skillet or Country Pride restaurant and choose one of their select dinners– you’ll be helping to raise funds for NMFA just by sating your hunger!

Even if you are not going on a long road trip there might be a TA right down the street from where you live. Take a staycation this year and pick up some fun goodies at the local TravelCenters of America, enjoy a free meal, and have a Happy 4th of July weekend.

Jennifer Pilcher, one of the nation’s foremost experts on military families, is the founder of MilitaryOneClick. Under her leadership, MilitaryOneClick was accepted as the first woman-owned small business to the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) through the Department of Defense in 2012 and selected as an Inc. Magazine Top Military Start-Up in 2011. In 2013, Jennifer was awarded the SCORE DC Client of the Year, a Count Me In and Capital One Pitch Contest winner for a 9-month Business Accelerator Program, an alumni of the TechStars Patriot Boot Camp Program, a USAA Influencer for the 2014 and 2013 Influencer Conferences, and the 2013 Military Spouse of the Year for Joint Base Andrews from Military Spouse Magazine. Jennifer also co-founded the #KeepYourPromise Alliance, a grassroots advocacy campaign that successfully urged Congress to restore Military Retirement benefits. Jennifer grew up in New Jersey where she graduated from Richard Stockton College and The College of New Jersey with a degree in Speech-Language Pathology. She was previously the Manager of Military Strategy for CafeMom. She currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area with her husband, a pilot in the United States Navy, and two children. Jennifer has been a Navy spouse for 20 years.