Colors have meaning. For instance, Navy Blue is anything but blue. However, as the story goes, the Navy wanted blue uniforms that would not fade. A million dollars was spent developing a blue dye that would not fade. In true government fashion, no one wanted to admit it was actually black so the top brass slapped each other on the back and Navy Blue was born. I am not sure if that story is true, but when in boot camp, calling our Navy Blue uniforms black earned us unwanted personal attention from our Company Commanders.
I can still hear them yelling, “Black? Black? I do not see any black! Recruit, do you ‘think’ you see black?” As memory serves, there was a colorful metaphor or expletive every second or third word, but with all the yelling, spitting and the way my heart was beating… well, let’s just say we left those out for the sake of our younger readers. Those who served would have automatically mentally added the words anyway. After the first hour or so of special attention, we quickly came to see the Navy Blue in our “black uniforms.” Speaking of those who served and seeing colors, November 11 is Veteran’s Day—and we would like to thank you for your service. There will be the usual parades and remembrances. All are good and appreciated by those who served. However, recently people have started remembering veterans in another way, using another color—they are going green. And they are doing it all year long.
By going green, I mean adding a green light to your home. In the “Green Light a Vet” program, corporate giant Walmart is teaming up with veteran advocacy groups, such as Team Red, White and Blue, Team Rubicon, and Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) to show support for our nation’s veterans.
The premise is simple: change one bulb in your house from white to green. Why green? Green is the color of hope, renewal and wellbeing. “Greenlight” is also a military term commonly used to activate forward movement. The simple action of changing one light to green is intended to spark a national conversation regarding the recognition of veterans, and “greenlight” them forward as valued members of our communities.
This is similar to the yellow ribbon of the past. The Green Light program is a simple, subtle, but important signal of support to our nation’s veterans and their families. How can you show your support? It’s easy: Change one light to green in a visible location-on your porch, in your home, or at your office—and keep it glowing every day as a symbol of appreciation and support for our veterans. Then, share your support by taking a picture of your green light and posting it using the hashtag #greenlightavet.” This isn’t just for veterans or civilians. This is for anyone who wants to show their support for veterans and their families—let’s not forget, many of out vets have fallen in service to our country or other causes, but they are not forgotten. If you choose to participate in the program and “shine a light on America’s veterans,” check out the “Green Light” website, and post a picture of your green light to your favorite social media page along with this story.