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Enjoy one of the last organized runs of the year while honoring and supporting military veterans at the Denver Veterans Day Run 5k/10k at City Park. Photo courtesy of the Colorado Veterans Project

Give Back to Colorado’s Veteran Community This Week

From free services for local military members to nonprofits that you should know about, here are ways to get involved this Veterans Day.

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Events to Attend

No Substitute for Victory Gala: This event supports Veteran’s Passport to Hope, an organization that raises awareness about issues facing veterans and fundraises for veteran-friendly nonprofits. Air Force Master Sgt. Israel Del Toro, who was severely burned in an IED explosion in Afghanistan, will be the honored speaker at the evening’s event. Attendees will also enjoy an open bar, a steak or fall squash lasagna sit-down dinner, live music, veteran tributes, and an auction. Can’t make it? You can also sponsor a ticket for a retired vet, active service member, or spouse. Friday, 6 p.m.; Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum, 7711 E. Academy Blvd.; $75–$5,000

Denver Veterans Day Run 5K/10K: Appreciate the views of Ferril Lake, City Park Pavilion and even the distant foothills as you tackle this year’s new route through Denver’s largest urban park. All the proceeds from the race benefit the Colorado Veterans Project, which hosts special events to raise awareness and funds for local veteran organizations. Feeling particularly strong? Test your mettle by strapping on a 25-pound rucksack or backpack and racing against other hearty competitors to honor fallen local Army Capt. Russell B. Rippetoe during the Rippetoe Rucksack Challenge. Event participants will receive an exclusive T-shirt, finisher medal, and race bag filled with goodies at the run, which is being held as part of the city’s annual Veterans Day celebration. Sunday, 8 a.m.; City Park, E. 17th Ave. and Colorado Blvd.; $35–$190

Causes to Care About

Dog Tag Brewing Foundation: Memorialize the legacies for America’s fallen soldiers by raising a glass in their honor. The Bozeman, Montana-based organization was founded by a marine combat veteran and is dedicated to supporting legacy-building projects started or selected by Gold Star families. Each can of the brewery’s Legacy Lager, which is sold in four packs at liquor stores throughout Colorado, memorializes a soldier killed in war. The brew is produced in conjunction with Pabst Brewing Company, and 100 percent of the profits benefits the charities that the Gold Star Families have chosen to support.

Veterans Expeditions: Coloradans have a unique appreciation for the power of the outdoors to sooth, inspire, and rejuvenate. That’s why this Salida-based (and veteran-led) organization is focused on offering specially tailored outdoor experiences to military veterans. In addition to organizing adventures for all interests and fitness levels, Veterans Expeditions also works to give purpose back to veterans by connecting them with employment opportunities in the outdoors industry.

Operation TBI Freedom: Nearly 340,000 U.S. service members have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries since 2000, including more than 7,000 individuals from Colorado. This Colorado Springs-based program, which is operated by Englewood’s Craig Hospital, offers case management services for such veterans, including crisis management, mental health referrals, classes, and emergency assistance for food and housing needs. More than 1,300 current and former service members, including many from nearby Fort Carson, have received assistance from Operation TBI in the past eight years. The organization relies entirely on private donations. Contribute here.

Discounts and Freebies for Veterans

Businesses across the Front Range are saying thanks to our vets by offering discounts and freebies. Current and former service members should be sure to either carry their military ID with them on Veterans Day or dress up in uniform to take advantage of all the available services.

The skilled hairdressers at Do The Bang Thing Salon will provide free haircuts to veterans and their families this Veterans Day. Refreshments and drinks will be provided and any tips will be donated to VFW Post 1, which has been serving veterans since 1899. No appointment is needed, but haircuts are first come, first served. Friday, 12–6 p.m.; Do The Bang Thing Salon, 1957 S. Broadway St.; free to all veterans and their families

Pizzeria Locale is offering one free pizza pie for active duty military members (with military ID) and their spouses on November 11 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. at both Denver locations.

Ignite Burgers and Bar will provide complimentary meals to all veterans and active military members on November 11 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Steuben’s Arvada will provide a complimentary salad, entree or sandwich for veterans and active military this Friday, November 11 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Snag a free entree and non-alcoholic beverage at Stout Street Social located at 1400 Stout St., Denver this Friday, November 11.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, the Tavern (all locations), and Chopper’s Sports Grill are offering veterans a complimentary entrée with military ID on Veterans Day.

On Friday, the National Park System is offering free admission to everyone, and all Colorado state parks will offer free entrance to all vets.

Snag two $5 tickets or four tickets at 20 percent off to a selection of concerts from the Colorado Symphony (active military and veteran specials differ).

Vets can get a free car wash at Autawash of Colorado, which has multiple locations in the Denver metro area (active duty military, police, firefighters and National Guard included).

Colorado Alliance for Veteran Entrepreneurship is putting together a happy hour for veteran entrepreneurs at WeWork Union Station located at 1550 Wewatta St. on November 11 at 4 p.m. RSVP for more details.

—Additional reporting by Maalikah Hartley

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