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Free B&B nights for active-duty and vets

Bed & Breakfasts in U.S. and Canada offer free stays for veterans Nov. 10-11

Vets will find welcoming innkeepers like these from Prescott Pines Bed & Breakfast in Arizona. Photo courtesy Association of Independent Hospitality Professionals

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For the past nine years, hundreds of inns and bed & breakfasts in the U.S. and Canada have opened their doors and hearts to honor our nation's military on Veterans Day with a free night's stay.

The B&B for Vets program began when a B&B owner, Kathleen Panek of Gillum House B&B in West Virginia, opened her doors for veterans on Veterans Day in 2008, free of charge.  Since that time, more than $2 million in free rooms have been offered to veterans and military.

Currently organized by the Association of Independent Hospitality Professionals (AIHP), more than 65 inns from 25 states will take part in this year's program.  Veterans and active-duty servicemembers throughout the nation can search for participating B&Bs through the website at and are encouraged to contact the innkeepers directly to reserve available rooms.  Space is limited and proof of military service is required.  Free nights may vary from the night of Nov. 10-11, and usually include double occupancy.

One of the two Washington state bed & breakfasts participating in the program is the Iron Horse Inn, a two-hour drive from Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Cle Elum.  Decorated with railroad memorabilia, the inn was constructed by the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad in 1909 and has been restored by Mary and Doug Pittis, the current innkeepers.  

With several rooms in the main house and four original caboose cars that have been renovated into character rooms, the Iron Horse Inn is at the base of the Cascade Mountain foothills.

Though the B&B for Vets program only requires inns to offer one room to veterans, the Pittis family have filled most of the inn with veterans since 2012 when they first got involved. "We found it hard to turn down requests.  It is such a deserving population and it warms our hearts to contribute to their special getaway," Mary Pittis explained.

At press time, four rooms at the Iron Horse Inn had already been reserved but several were still available.  You can learn more by calling the inn at 509.674.5939 or 800.228.9246 or emailing  To learn more about the accommodations, visit

Washington's second B&B participating in the program is Husum Riverside Bed & Breakfast, located near the Oregon border and the White Salmon River. The European-style inn features five rooms and is a great location for hiking, kayaking, rafting and fishing in season.  Learn more at

For listings of B&Bs participating in the B&Bs for Vets program, visit

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