Discount directory for vets launched |

Discount directory for vets launched

John Plestina

Love for his country and appreciation for the freedom earned by the contributions of those who have served in the armed forces inspired a Sparks businessman to create an online directory of discounts for all active duty and honorably discharged veterans.

Jim Helsel, owner of Helsel Construction Operations Inc., has seen Military Discounts Directory grow to more than 100 listings in a little over a month since he founded the site.

Offering the free alphabetical listing of businesses in the Reno, Sparks and Carson City areas, Helsel only asks that participating businesses require that those using the discounts present a military ID card or proof of their service from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans who served at any time are welcome to use the discounts.

All the business owners need to do is visit the Web site and sign up. There is no charge.

“We don’t ask them to list what the discounts are because discounts vary by the type of business,” Helsel said.

While not a veteran, a close friendship with a disabled veteran motivated Helsel to create the directory.

“I love my country and I want to support them (veterans) any way I can,” he said. I sincerely feel we owe these gentlemen and women because they risk their lives for their country.”

Helsel notes that those serving on active duty in the military do not receive substantial financial compensation.

To learn more about the directory or to participate, visit