Stillwater malt shop to offer free meal to veterans

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If you served — or are serving — in the armed forces, Leo’s Grill & Malt Shop in downtown Stillwater will serve you a free meal on Saturday, Veterans Day.

The meals will be available between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. The restaurant is planning to serve more than 300 veterans this year, and numerous donors have come forward to pay for meals for spouses, said Cory Buettner, the restaurant’s owner.

No proof of service is necessary, and veterans may choose from the entire menu, Buettner said.

This is the 16th year that Buettner has offered the meals to veterans. Leo’s is named for Buettner’s father, who served in the Army during World War II.

Former employees of Leo’s come back to the restaurant on Veterans Day to volunteer and help serve, Buettner said. “This is their favorite day to work,” he said. “There are a lot of handshakes, some hugs and some tears.”

Second graders from Brookview Elementary School in Woodbury helped decorate the restaurant with “Letters to Our Heroes.” They also painted rocks for the veterans, Buettner said.

Buettner said he especially looks forward to “welcoming home” Vietnam veterans at the event.

“As a kid, I recall the disrespect that took place, and some of it was from me,” he said. “I feel compelled to try to make it right for them. We really love that we are able to do this every year, and we appreciate our guests who support us year-round to make it possible.”

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