Veterans launch military discount app

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Two veterans have created a mobile app that compiles a list of businesses that offer discounts for military members.

The app, Deal Patrol, is now available in the App Store and on Google Play.

Co-founder Gavin Light said he came up with the idea while he was a freshman at the Air Force Academy more than a decade ago.

“My stipend was about $100 a month,” Light said. “Sure, room and board was provided, but $100 doesn’t go far. So I learned how to ask for military discounts early on.”

He and his co-founder, Darren Smith, have been working to create the app the past few years.

“There’s tons of military-friendly businesses that offer military discounts, and so it sort of surprised me that nobody had taken a list of all of them and put it together into a mobile app, and so that’s what we did,” Light said.

Deal Patrol is free to download and use. Light said Colorado Springs was the app’s test market. Employees would call local businesses to see if they offered a military discount.

“We have over 300 local discounts just in Colorado Springs, but we have national chains that have discounts all over the place as well,” Light said. “So if people download the app in Charlotte, North Carolina, there’s going to be pins on the map, but it’s going to be mostly national chains at this point.”

People can submit a deal for the company to verify, if they know of one that’s not already listed. The hope is that this will expand to local businesses around the country.

“Military members get temporary duty assignments quite a bit. So if you live in Colorado Springs, if you’re stationed here, you’re going to find out where a lot of the local discounts are. But if you get sent to San Diego or Virginia for a couple weeks, you’re not necessarily going to know where the local discounts are,” Light said. “So that’s where our app is really going to come in handy.”

He also hopes the app connects the military community even more.

“Other veterans are likely going to go to these merchants as well. So it’s a great way to meet the military community from bases all over the U.S.,” Light said.

The app earns money by running small ads at the top of the screen. The founders said part of the money they make from the ads will be given to local charities.

“We just think it’s the right thing to do,” Light said. “We thought it was only fair to take 10 percent of any revenue we get from our ads and give it right back to military charities.”

He said the first charity they’ll be giving to is The Home Front Cares.

Light and Smith are having a launch party for their app Friday from 6-8 p.m. at Tap Traders in Colorado Springs. Anyone is invited to attend, and if they download the app, they can get a free drink. Deal Patrol asks for people to RSVP here.