PENDER COUNTY — Pender County is shining a light on veteran’s appreciation next month and encouraging residents to participate.
With Veteran’s Day Friday, Nov. 10, Pender County Veteran Services is asking the public to participate in Operation Green Light. The national initiative support military veterans and raises awareness about the challenges they face.
For the second year, Pender County plans to illuminate with green lights the Hampstead Annex, county administrative building and courthouse in Burgaw from dusk to dawn the week of Oct. 6. County staff also plans to post signs to inform the community about the project.
County commissioners adopted a resolution at their Aug. 21 meeting supporting the effort.
“Some of these Veterans came home without welcome and to nothing,” director of Pender County veterans services Michelle Leach said in a release. “Operation Greenlight is so important because it shows every Veteran, Active-Duty Service Member, and their families that their service to this country is important.”
The county veterans services department assists local veterans and their families access benefits entitled to them from the Department of Veteran Affairs.
Pender County is home to 5,137 veterans. In fiscal year 2022, the VA paid $75 million in Pender County for veteran compensation, medical care, pensions, education and other services.
Residents and businesses wanting to participate can swap out an exterior or interior bulb for a green one.
“Shining a green light lets our veterans know they are seen, appreciated and supported,” a county press release states. “While this event is focused on the week of Veterans Day, we encourage individuals to continue to shine the light year-round.”
Anyone participating can share their photos on social media using the hashtag #OperationGreenLight.
Operation Green Light is spearheaded by the National Association of Counties and the National Association of County Veteran Services Officers.
“With hundreds of counties coming together to light everything from bridges to courthouses, we know veterans across the country will see and feel the gratitude we all feel for their service and sacrifices,” NACo executive director Matthew Chase said in the release.
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