Tower Plaza Hair Styles is listed on the Deal Patrol app as a location with a military discount. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

An app connecting service members to discounts available in Military City, USA, launched this week with more than 300 deals from area businesses.

Available free on iOS and Android devices, Deal Patrol aggregates discounts available for military personnel at retailers, restaurants, and entertainment businesses. Some deals are offered for military dependents, veterans, retirees, and others affiliated with the military.

As a member of the U.S. Air Force, Deal Patrol co-founder Gavin Light spent time at San Antonio’s Lackland Air Force base and found that the Bexar County area was teeming with military-friendly businesses.

“We thought it would be a really good market to bring this tool to,” said Light, who left the Air Force five years ago as a captain. Light and co-founder Darren Smith, both veterans, are real estate investors in Colorado Springs.

The two launched their product in Colorado Springs last November.

Light and Smith were climbing 14,000-foot mountain peaks one day when Light told Smith his idea for Deal Patrol. Smith thought it was a great idea, and the two formed the business.

The Deal Patrol app shows locations that offer military discounts.
The Deal Patrol app shows locations that offer military discounts. Credit: Courtesy / Deal Patrol

Deal Patrol hires workers to call businesses to ask what military deals and discounts they offer, then enter the deals into a database. The company says it aims to create the most comprehensive such database in the country.

App users can find deals available to service members by interacting with a map that is zoomed into their location. Discounts also are searchable, and users can filter by category, such as food and drink, fun, and shopping.

San Antonio is the eighth city in which Deal Patrol has launched. Light said the company expanded its services to the El Paso area earlier this year.

“We are excited to continue to push this out to all the military members,” he said. “We think it’s going to be a very well-received tool.”

The company relies on ad revenue from businesses that pay for banner ads at the top of the screen, but any business can submit their offers to the service once Deal Patro verifies the discount. Ten percent of the proceeds go to The Home Front Cares, a Colorado nonprofit providing financial assistance to military families in need.

JJ Velasquez was a columnist, former editor and reporter at the San Antonio Report.