In advance of the upcoming Veterans Day holiday, the Berks County commissioners on Thursday passed a resolution to participate in a new program to recognize men and women in uniform who are transitioning from active service.
Operation Green Light is a national initiative of the National Association of Counties that encourages citizens to honor all those who made sacrifices to preserve freedom by displaying a green light at their homes and places of business each year from Nov. 7 through Nov. 13.
Ken Lebron, director of Berks County Veteran’s Affairs, explained the mission of Operation Green Light at a county operations meeting on Tuesday before the commissioners voted on the resolution Thursday. He said that in addition to showing support for veterans the initiative hopes to raise awareness about the unique challenges faced by veterans and the resources available at the county, state and federal levels to assist them and their families.
“Transition from military to civilian life can be extremely difficult,” he told the commissioners at that meeting. “Not knowing who our veterans are when they come back to Berks County from active duty military service can make it hard to connect them, their dependents and their caregivers to veterans benefits at all levels of government.”
Lebron shared some national statistics to drive home that point.
He said veterans make up roughly 11% of adults experiencing homelessness. And, he said, that about 70% of those homeless veterans are also battling substance abuse issues and about 50% are living with mental illnesses.
The commissioners agreed to take part in the initiative in the hope that by simply having people change one light bulb to a green bulb it sparks a conversation with friends about the importance of letting veterans know that they are seen, appreciated and supported.
Source: Berkshire mont
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