Being in the military comes with many challenges; one of the hardest is the frequent separation from loved ones.
That’s why so many organizations have formed to help military members and their families make the most of their time together.
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What is Vet Tix?
Give Something to Those Who Gave
This mission statement is behind everything that Vet Tix does.
Many nonprofit organizations provide services and assistance for the military and their families.
It works to do so by helping provide bonding and enriching experiences that they can enjoy.
“Vet Tix provides tickets to events which reduce stress, strengthen family bonds, build life-long memories and encourage service members and veterans to stay engaged with local communities and American life,” says the organization’s website.
Founded in 2008 by Marine Corps Veteran Chris Blindheim and Marine Corps son Dwayne Somers, they have provided free tickets to over 1.2 Million participants.
This includes active duty military, Veterans, and their families from all branches of service.
The Board of Directors includes business leaders in the sports and entertainment industry, Veterans, and others connected with the military.
They share a common belief that providing free access to a slice of American life to those who work to preserve it is important.
How do I sign up for Vet Tix?
Signing up for Vet Tix requires the team to verify your eligibility.
To access their benefits, you must qualify under one of these categories.
- I am Currently Serving
- I am a Veteran (all Honorably Discharged and Retirees)
- I am a Severely Wounded Veteran (Purple Heart)
- Gold Star—I am the Primary Next of Kin of someone who was Killed in Action
- Surviving Spouse of Service-member with service connected death
You will also be asked to select your branch of service and enter your contact information (email and zip code).
They will then send an email (don’t forget to check your spam folder, just in case) with the next steps to create and verify your account.
Once you verify your email by clicking the provided link, you’ll be able to set up a password and continue with the verification process.
Military status is verified through the Id.me portal.
Most veterans who have worked with the Department of Veterans Affairs probably have an Id.me account.
They may have even verified their veteran status and provided the necessary documentation.
All that remains is to follow the prompts to authorize Vet Tix to receive a copy of that verification.
If you do not already have an Id.me account, you’ll be able to set one up. You can verify your military service through military records or by providing your own documentation, such as your DD-214 official discharge paperwork.
It can take up to 3 days for Id.me and Vet Tix to verify your status but once you complete that step one time, it is valid as long as you have your account.
Forgot your password or need other assistance? Just call the customer service line.
Vet Tix prefers that you call for assistance rather than create a new account. Duplicate accounts are not allowed.
This helps cut down on their administrative burden, as well as ensures that participants are only claiming the designated number of tickets available to them through their official, verified account.
What types of tickets are available?
Once they have a verified account, military members, Veterans, and military families can browse over 500 ticket options in a variety of interest areas.
- Major League Baseball games (Kansas City Royals, Miami Marlins, San Francisco Giants)
- WNBA (Los Angeles Sparks, Connecticut Sun)
- College Sports (Old Miss-NCAA)
- Golf Tournaments (PGA Tour)
- Bowl Games (Military Bowl)
- Symphony (Chicago Symphony Orchestra)
- Local music scene (Music & Yoga)
- Dance (Texas Ballet Theater, Phoenix Ballet)
- Concerts (Patti Labelle, Pat McGee’s Down the Hatch Music Festival)
- Festivals (St. George’s Music Festival, CelticFest)
- Theater (Benchmark Theater)
- Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series
- Indianapolis 500
- Stand-up (Laugh Factory Chicago, World Series of Comedy)
- Comedy Clubs (Atlantic City Comedy Club, The Comedy Loft)
- Science Centers (Da Vinci Science Center)
- Regional Nature and Culture Museums (The Witte Museum)
Expos and Exhibits
- Gun Shows
- Rubber Stamp Festival
- Pop-up exhibits
Some events do not have free tickets but do provide discounts to military members, veterans, and their families.
Examples include 40% off admission to Medieval Times, 25% off festival admission at Wanderlust, and special rates at Papa Johns’s Pizza.
Related Article: Red Lobster Military Discount
Some events have a set number of tickets available. Once the tickets have been claimed on a first come, first served basis, the event is no longer available.
The event will show the number of tickets left available to claim.
Other events use a lottery system to assign tickets. Those interested in attending are able to wager “Vet Tix coins” to secure their entry in the lottery.
Once the designated window is closed, they will chooses the lottery winners and they have a set amount of time to claim their tickets.
These events show the total number of tickets available.
What about their Hero’s Wish program?
For those experiencing hardship or challenging circumstances, opportunities exist to request tickets (or financial assistance) to attend a specific event of their choice through the Hero’s Wish program.
This program allows active duty members meeting specific criteria to make a wish.
To participate in Hero’s Wish, the participant must fulfill one of the following criteria:
- Returned from deployment 6 months or less prior to the wish request
- Be a Purple Heart recipient (also open to Veterans)
- Be a family member of a service member killed in action
Donors to the Hero’s Wish program can donate tickets or financial donations to help purchase the tickets for the participant to attend.
This opens up the type of events and venues that military members and veterans can visit for free using Vet Tix.
Participants with disabilities can select the ADA accessibility option on the profile and see if particular tickets are for ADA accessible seats or venues.
Because many tickets are donated, Vet Tix is unable to offer ADA accessible tickets for every event.
Vet Tix Rules and Regulations
Vet Tix uses ID.me to verify eligibility of their patrons.
The tickets are meant to be used exclusively by military personnel, veterans, and their families and there are strict guidelines that all participants must agree to follow.
Failure to comply with stated rules most often results in a temporary or permanent suspension of the account holder’s ability to claim tickets through Vet Tix.
The organization takes these rules very seriously and prompts account holders to acknowledge the rules at multiple points during the ticket claim process.
Rules that patrons must agree to abide by include:
- No selling tickets provided by Vet Tix: Attempting to sell tickets will result in official action, including notifying the account holder’s command, voiding the tickets, and suspending the account.
- No contacting the team, organization, or venue directly about the tickets or event: Violation will result in suspending the account.
- Must attend any event that you claim tickets for: Except in extreme circumstances, all attendees are expected to attend. Violation will result in a temporary suspension (10 days for 1st time, 20 days for 2nd time, 30 days for 3rd time in a calendar year)
- Must not report any Vet Tix email as spam: Use the unsubscribe link or change email preferences of account instead. Violation will result in suspending the account for 90 days.
If you are unable to attend an event, they request that you find another eligible patron to take your place.
This means providing your tickets (free of charge, of course) to another military member, veteran, or military family so that they can enjoy the event.
Many organizations track the tickets donated through Vet Tix to make sure that they are being used appropriately.
Not showing up, providing tickets to non-military attendees, or selling your tickets puts the partnership between Vet Tix and the team or venue in jeopardy.
They also request photos of you at the event to show the impact that attending things like sports games, concerts, or other fun things has on the morale and overall well-being of America’s military community.
Failing to provide this feedback may result in a temporary suspension of the account.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use them if I had anything other than an honorable discharge?
Vet Tix is open to all currently serving active duty military, veterans with an honorable discharge and retirees, Purple Heart recipients, Gold Star family members, and surviving spouses of those killed in connection with their military service.
Related Article – Dishonorable Discharge: Reasons, Consequences, And More
Veterans who do not have an honorable discharge are not eligible to claim tickets.
What are Vet Tix coins?
Vet Tix coins allow participants to enter into ticket lotteries for certain events.
Every month, each account holder automatically receives 2 coins. Coins can also be earned by referring other eligible patrons to Vet Tix and submitting feedback after an event.
They also provide “easter egg” coins from time to time when account holders do certain things, such as sharing a social media post.
These are not routine coins but act as incentives to engage with their website and spread the word.
In addition, they also sell tshirts, hats, and other gear but does not provide additional coins to those who purchase gear or donate to the organization.
Participants are able to receive more coins for providing photos of themselves at an event with their Vet Tix gear on.
Do they have an app I can use?
Signing up, verifying eligibility, and claiming tickets must be done through the official website, https://www.vettix.org
Can spouses use it?
Spouses can attend events using tickets obtained through Vet Tix but all official account holders must fall under one of the eligibility categories.
Spouses can sign up for and manage an account on behalf of the service member, provided they use the service member’s information.
Spouses of service members with a service-connected death as well as gold star family members are also eligible.
Related Article: 10 Benefits Of Being A Military Wife (and 5 not-so good things)
How can I donate to Vet Tix?
They are always interested in partnering with donors. Those interested are able to donate in one of two categories:
– Individual donor
– Organization/team donor
Donating tickets (in-kind donations):
The tickets are then sent to Vet Tix, who enters them into the system as available.
Each event has a designated number of tickets available, based on the number donated.
After the event, Vet Tix sends the donor the appreciative testimonial of the military member, family, or veteran who used the tickets.
Financial donations are also welcome. Donors are able to donate in their own name, in honor of someone, or anonymously on the Vet Tix website.
You can also set up a monthly recurring donation with just a few clicks of a button.
All donors receive the required paperwork/receipts to claim tax benefits for their donation.
How can I contact them about an offer?
The best way to take steps to attend an event is to claim first come, first served tickets or enter the lottery.
A robust FAQ and support page is available on the website that can answer most questions.
For questions about a specific event or offer, account holders can see the details on the official website as well as follow prompts to the event or venue’s website.
Participants are told not to contact the event or venue directly with questions.
There is also a helpful Community Forum page, accessible through the Vet Tix website.
Past participants share their insights, tips, and tricks for making the most of the free opportunities provided through Vet Tix.
Related Article: 15 Best States For Military Retirees And Veterans
In addition, they believe that those who served deserve special recognition beyond just Veteran’s Day or Memorial Day.
“When our military and veterans go to an event for free, we want them to enjoy, relax, spend precious time with their families, and feel a part of American life,” says Vet Tix. “That’s what we are committed to creating, every day.”
They welcome all donations, financial and in-kind, to help America’s military and veteran communities create lasting memories. For eligible patrons, visit www.vettix.org to start making memories today.