Vacation ‘thank you’ to military past and present

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Wyndham Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa sits just outside the famed El Yunque Rain Forest and boast two championship golf courses and a 7,000-foot casino. Photo courtesy Wyndham Rio Mar
Wyndham Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa sits just outside the famed El Yunque Rain Forest and boast two championship golf courses and a 7,000-foot casino.

It wasn’t all that many years ago when a man or woman in uniform was treated like something out of a horror movie.  The national mindset was to vilify those who served and protected this country.

That is long since over and has taken a place in the dust bin of history where it belongs.  Today those currently serving and those who have served have an honored place at the table.

With Memorial Day Weekend hard upon us a number of resorts and hotels are offering discounts to all who have worn the uniform of the United States.

In New York the Wolcott Hotel is offering a 15% discount on its room rates starting at $170 per night.  The hotel has a great midtown location at 4 West 31st Street, between Fifth Avenue and Broadway.

The Wolcott is surrounded by New York’s terrific shopping and is blocks from the Empire State Building and Madison Square Garden.  Hotel amenities include complimentary breakfast with a selection of muffins and coffee, concierge service for obtaining tickets to shows, a fitness room and laundry.

The offer is valid through the end of 2013.  Go to www.wolcott.com, use promotional code MIL and enjoy.

In the Finger Lakes area the Maxwell Creek Inn Bed and Breakfast is offering a 25% discount off available rates for those showing a valid military ID.  The discount applies to active military and immediate family.

To book go to www.maxwellcreekin-bnb.com or call (315) 483-2222.  Use promo code USMil2013.  The owners, Belinda and Pat McElroy have two sons in the Marines and are paying it forward.

Also in the Finger Lakesdistrict the Hampton Inn is offering a flat rate of $100 per night for weekdays.  Go to www.owego.hamptoninn.com or call (607) 687-4600.

In the Caribbean there are several resorts participating in the Military Appreciation program.

St. John, USVI Westin Resort & Villas are offering rates as low as $165 per night.  Guests must present a valid government ID on check-in.  For information go to www.westinresortsstjohn.com and select “Government Employee under rate preferences.  You can also call 800-734-7345.

Bahamas Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort & Casino has rates as low $190.  The special military rate includes daily breakfast for one.  Information at www.sheratonnassau.com, select “Government Employee” and mention the “GO Rate Plan.”  You can also call 866-716-8106.  Valid government ID is required.

The Aruba Westin Resort & Casino starts its military rates at $179 and includes a complimentary upgrade to an ocean view room based on availability.  Here a valid government ID must also be presented.  You can book online a www.westinaruba.com, select “GO” rate plan.  If you call 877-782-0149, mention the plan as well.

Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino offers rates beginning at $195.  Go to the website at www.sheratonpuertoricehotelcasino.com and select “Government Employee.”  Here as well enter “GO Plan.”

St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort (Puerto Rico) is more expensive but has dropped its bottom rate to military to $299.  www.stregisbahiabeach.com. Mention the “GO Plan.”

And Puerto Rico’s Wyndham Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa has rates bottoming out at $139.  www.wyndhamriomar.com  Rates here are good until Dec. 23, 2013.  Situated on 500 acres along a mile-long section of tropical beach adjacent to El Yunque Rain Forest, there is a huge casino and two golf courses.  Either through the web site or by calling for reservations, make sure you give the rate code “GOVGEN.”

There very well may be many other hotels and resorts offering military discounts.  Call the destination directly and ask if they offer any discount for current or former military.  You can find discounts in some of the most unexpected places.

For instance, Home Depot and Lowes big box stores offer military and former military a 10% discount on virtually all purchases.  Some auto rental agencies offer the same courtesy.

Applebee’s offers current and former military free lunch and/or dinner on Memorial Day.  Military ID is required so if you have been a civilian for a while, start looking for that old ID card.  Others, such as McCormick & Schmick offer a dining discount.

Some of those providing military discounts do not advertise the fact but will give it immediately if asked.

As a former S/Sgt in the 11th Special Forces Group (Green Berets) the male half of this writing team urges all those eligible to not only take advantage of these offers, but to remember to say “thank you” for the courtesy as well.