In advance of the upcoming Veterans Day holiday, Alexander County Government has announced that some county buildings will be illuminated green from November 7-13 as part of “Operation Green Light,” a new national collaborative initiative of the National Association of Counties (NACo). The initiative is designed to support military veterans, as well as raise awareness about the unique challenges faced by many veterans and the resources that are available at the county, state, and federal levels to assist veterans and their families.
The new national collaborative is spearheaded by NACo and the National Association of County Veteran Service Officers (NACVSO), building upon the successful efforts of the New York State Association of Counties and the NYS County Veteran Service Officers’ Association in 2021.
“Since the tragedy of September 11, 2001, our nation’s voluntary military force members, and their families, have made immense sacrifices for our safety and security over a two-decade period,” said Cherry Kilby, Alexander County Veterans Service Officer. “Similar to the sacrifices of previous generations of our armed forces, this service to our country also often results in significant stress to many of the veterans who served in times of war and conflict. We want to make sure our veterans and their families know that their service mattered, that we are grateful for their sacrifices, and that it is now our turn to make sure they are served by their county government and our community.”
In addition to lighting county buildings, residents and businesses are encouraged to participate by simply changing one light bulb in their house to a green bulb. This can be an exterior light that neighbors and passersby see, or an interior light that sparks a conversation with friends.
“By shining a green light, we can let our veterans know that they are seen, appreciated, and supported,” Kilby related.
While this event is focused around the week of Veterans Day (November 7-13), participants are encouraged to continue shining the light year-round. Residents can share their participation on social media using the hashtag #OperationGreenLight.
“Operation Green Light is a simple way to express our collective appreciation for the public service of our veterans,” said NACo President Denise Winfrey. “We encourage everyone to join us in displaying a green light for our veterans and to also reflect on how we, as a nation and at the county level, assist our military service personal back into civilian life upon completion of their service to our country.”
Visit www.naco.org/operationgreenlight for more information and links to resources available to veterans. Alexander County veterans and spouses in need of assistance may contact Veterans Service Officer Cherry Kilby at firstname.lastname@example.org or (828) 632-5411.
Gary L Herman