- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 20, 2003

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) Hotels are offering free rooms. Baseball teams are giving away tickets. Banks are lowering rates. And restaurants are offering items such as doughnuts and dinners.
American companies are using a variety of special discounts to thank members of the military, both at home and abroad.
"That's the least we can do for our boys," said Tommy Kiddy, manager of Daddyo's Cafe & Grill in Waveland, Miss.
The restaurant has delivered doughnuts every morning to National Guardsmen who provide security at an industrial park. "These guys don't get paid a lot of money, so we wanted to do what we could," Mr. Kiddy said.
Military discounts are not a new concept, and many companies offer standing deals. But since the war with Iraq, businesses have quickly lined up to be among those making offers that recognize service members for their sacrifices.
"You can tell the businesses that are involved in that aren't doing it for publicity," said Capt. Tom Crosson of the U.S. Southern Command in Miami. "It's just their opportunity to support the military."
Club Broadway, a casino in Everett, Wash., will throw a party for troops returning home with the carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. The YMCA in Grand Rapids, Mich., is waiving membership fees for soldiers and their families. In Iowa Bankers Trust lowered interest rates on loans and credit cards to help families of National Guard members activated in recent months.
"We appreciate everything they do," said B.J. Lepinski, who owns a Great Clips hair salon in Santee, Calif. The salon is offering a military discount of 25 percent. "We believe that especially in wartime, the young men and women who serve this country deserve to be recognized," Mr. Lepinksi said.

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