Veterans & First Responders: Get Free Event Tickets with VetTix & 1st Tix!

Free Family Fun for Veterans, Active Military and first responders! VetTix and 1stTix

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VetTix is an organization that shows appreciation to our Veterans, active duty military, and, First Responders by providing free event tickets.

And this blog will tell you all about how both VetTix and 1stTix work, and how to sign up for either one.

A Concert Deal for Military

A few months ago a friend of ours sat with his wife in the audience at Symphony Hall in Phoenix. They came to enjoy the orchestra which was accompanied by Phoenix Symphony Chorus. Tickets to the symphony usually cost between $25 and $120. But for our friend Aaron and his wife, who were sitting in some of the best seats in the house, there was no charge.

Aaron served for 4 years in the Air Force and as a veteran. He is participating in a program called VetTix where he is given tickets to cultural and sporting events at no charge.

A Ticket Deal for First Responders

Our daughter Abbey is married to Collin. Both have graduated college and earned master’s degrees – we’re really proud of them! Collin is now a police officer in Arizona and recently told us about a new initiative from VetTix called 1stTix.

VetTix has expanded its offerings from only military to now include currently serving and retired law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMTs, nurses and 911 Dispatchers.

Abbey & Collin have enjoyed free tickets from 1stTix to sporting events and concerts! It’s truly a blessing.

What is Vet Tix? is the website for the Veteran Tickets Foundation (VTF) which is a nationwide non-profit, 501c(3) organization based in Phoenix AZ. VTF was established in 2009 by Michael Focareto, who is a disabled US Navy veteran.

This organization is growing incredibly. In 2008 they gave away 2500 tickets. In 2022 that number had grown to 3.8 million.

Chart showing vettix and 1stTix given away since 2008

In total, VetTix and 1stTix have given away more than 17 million event tickets in all 50 States and Washington, DC to our military, veterans, first responders and their families. That’s Impressive!

How VetTix Started

The concept for VetTix came to Michael when he was given a ticket to attend the 2008 Super Bowl between the Giants and the Patriots. It was held in Phoenix, AZ. As he sat watching the game, he noticed that the seat next to him was vacant the entire time. He couldn’t believe that a Super Bowl seat went unused!

He thought, “Someone gave me a ticket, why couldn’t this seat next to me have been given to another veteran?” The vision was sparked and Michael was the man to make it happen. He started procuring and giving away event tickets to veterans in 2008.

In 2009 the Arizona Diamondbacks professional baseball team donated 40 tickets for veterans to attend. VetTix received a good amount of publicity as a result of this. And since then, more than 1.9 million tickets have been distributed to more than 400,000 military families. The retail value of the tickets exceeds $66 million dollars.

How Do You Sign Up for VetTix?

VetTix Poster with Soldier standing at-ease.

If you or a friend are: currently serving in the military; the primary next of kin or spouse of a service person who was Killed in Action or is an honorably discharged veteran, you are eligible to participate in VetTix. Just go to and sign up for the program. You’ll need to read the instructions on how to verify your status. It’s a relatively simple process that our son-in-law, Nolan completed it in about 15 minutes.

How Do You Sign Up for 1stTix?

Poster about 1stTix - free and discounted tickets for our first responders.

It’s virtually the same since 1stTix is a subsidiary of VetTix. Simply go to the 1stTix Website and fill out their application form. You’ll indicate what type of 1st responder you are by telling them:

  •  I am an EMT 
  • I am a Firefighter 
  • I am a Law Enforcement Officer 
  • I am a 911 Dispatcher I am a Nurse

Then you’ll give them your email and zip code. They will verify your info through and set up your account. If you are already a VetTix member, they ask that you don’t create an additional account.

How Do VetTix and 1st Tix work?

Once you sign up, you earn 2 appreciation coins each month just for being part of this group. The coins are used to buy chances to win tickets for events. I coin per chance to win a ticket in the initial lottery draw. You can earn 15 more appreciation coins by referring friends, or by wearing VetTix gear to events and sharing photos on social media (10 appreciation coins).

Family holding a sign saying "thanks VetTix."

When you want to attend an event, you simply search the site, find an event you want to attend, then submit your name and coins for the event. There are events listed in all 50 states. And they are for all kinds of events including concerts, ballet and symphony performances, football, baseball, basketball and even roller derby events. Tickets are awarded through a lottery system. So there is some lag time from when you submit your request, to the time you find out if you’re going to the event.

The system is very fair and organized. Once you create your account on the website you can read all of the rules, additional ways to win appreciation coins and about other services that they offer.

WANT MORE FREE STUFF? Check out our Free Stuff Category

What can civilians do to participate in VetTix?

If you have purchased tickets for an event and are unable to attend, consider donating your tickets. Of course, you’d have to give them some lead time. If you’re part of an organization that sells tickets to events, consider donating a few seats to the Veteran’s Ticket Foundation. You’ll get a tax write-off and a veteran will get a blessing. The link for anyone wanting to donate tickets is:

Of course, this organization could benefit from cash donations which can also be made on their website.

However you participate, VetTix is a great way to show appreciation to our military families.

Action Point:

If you or someone you know could qualify to signup for VetTix, could you share Nolan or Collin’s info so they can get a 15-coin bonus? They don’t know that we’re asking you to do this. But we thought it could be a little thank-you gift for their service. And both of our daughters could get to go along and enjoy some cool events.

Sign up for VetTix using Nolan’s account here

Sign up for 1stTix using Collin’s account here

Free Family Fun for Veterans, Active Military and first responders! VetTix and 1stTix

For more great ideas for saving money on entertainment and recreation with your family, click here!

And if you want more inexpensive recreation ideas, check out this page’s ideas and the video.

7 thoughts on “Veterans & First Responders: Get Free Event Tickets with VetTix & 1st Tix!

  1. barbara brady

    If the vet is unable to go to the event but family members would like to go how does that work? Does the family member have to show some kind of I D, do you put your name down when you order tickets, not quite sure how it works?

    1. Steve Economides Post author

      Barbara that’s a question you’ll have to pose to VetTix themselves. We’ve never heard of a situation where the Veteran didn’t attend the event.

  2. Daniel Gantka

    I have been trying to set up an account on Vet-Tix. I would not let me in because my email address is connected to my donation account. I also purchase a t-shirt and hat.

    I want to set up a Vet-tex account. I am a Vietnam Vet and can supply me DD-214.
    There are NO links that get to a phone number of a person, that could help me. The list of common questions doesn’t list this issue.

    I was hoping to find two tickets for my son and I to go to a Green Bay Packer game. I was born and raised in Wisconsin, so my son and I are big fans. But, I have never been to a game at Lambeau Field. My ability to get around is becoming less everyday.. I understand that these ticket are very hard to get, and will understand.
    I still want to set up an account for the tickets for other things, that might come to are intrest.

    Thank you.
    Dan Gantka

    1. Steve Economides Post author

      Daniel – I’m so sorry you’re having trouble getting tickets. How about if you create a new email address – use Gmail and try setting up an account with that.
      We looked for a phone number for VetTix, but they have kept it hidden. Your best bet is to create a new email address or reach out to their help department using your donation account.

  3. Stacie M

    I just want to say THANK YOU for posting this! I am always glad to see Veteran perks for my hubby. In our state of Maine, he got a free life long state park pass for his service. I am signing him up right now!!

    1. Steve Economides Post author

      That’s a great question. The number of coins you’ll spend on a VetTix event depends on how many tickets you want and how much competition there is for the tickets. VetTix runs it like a lottery – where Vets enter, wager the number of coins they’re willing to spend, with winners drawn at random and then everyone (winners and “non-winners) are notified. The VetTix people really try to make it fair so more Vets and their families have the opportunity to go to these events!
      They outline the process on their website you can read about it here:

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