Bartow, Fla. (November 2, 2022) — In advance of Veterans Day (Nov. 11), the Polk County Board of County Commissioners announced that two county buildings – the County Administration Building and the Frank Smith Health and Human Services Building – will be illuminated green Nov. 7 through Nov. 13 as part of Operation Green Light. Operation Green Light is a national collaborative initiative of the National Association of Counties (NACo) to support military veterans. This new initiative also aims to raise awareness about the unique challenges faced by many veterans, as well as the resources that are available at the county, state, and federal level to assist veterans and their families.
“Since the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001, our nation’s voluntary military force members, and their families, have made immense sacrifices for our safety and security,” said Joseph Lesniewicz IV, Polk County Veterans Services Supervisor and retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant. “Similar to the sacrifices of previous generations of our armed forces, this service to country often results in significant stress. We want to make sure our veterans and their families know that their service matters, that we are grateful for their sacrifices, and that it’s our turn to make sure they are served by their county government and community.”
In addition to lighting county buildings, residents and businesses are encouraged to participate by 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 will let our veterans know that they are seen, appreciated, and supported,” Lesniewicz said.
While this event is focused around the week of Veterans Day, participants are encouraged to continue shining the light year-round. Residents can share their participation on social media using the initiative’s 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 https://www.polk-county.net/veteran-services for more information and links to resources available to veterans.