With Veteran’s Day 2015 Around The Corner, Why Are People Showing Green Lights?

Perhaps you’ve already seen green lights on residences’ porch areas. Do you know what they mean? It’s way too early for Christmas. So, what’s the reason?

Believe it or not, veterans don’t always have it easy in the States. While many would think they’d be honored and treated with certain acknowledgements after defending the country against tyranny, realistically, that’s not the case all the time.

According to Daily Beast, many veterans actually die while awaiting their initial benefits. As stated in the 2013 report, veterans’ benefits take approximately 277 days to process due to backup issues. This is just processing — not yet undergoing evaluation or correspondence by veteran’s administration.

However, veteran benefits are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ex-military personnel’s problems. Many veterans deal with disrespect, homelessness, negligence, joblessness, etc. The issue is this: veterans experience a level of under-appreciation that is unnecessary as well as preventable. Sometimes, a “thank you” would change one veteran’s entire day.

As a show of major support, Walmart is pushing for everyone to recognize prior and active military personnel in a simple way. It’s called “Greenlight A Vet” and is an initiative which could grow to be one of the company’s most memorable projects.

Military Times reports that the veteran-friendly company has advertised the project via national television, specifically during prime-time hours. On November 11, Walmart is asking each of the nation’s residences to replace one light within the household with a green light. However, it can’t be just any light. It has to be publicly visible — whether it’s a porch light or an externally visible light inside the house.

WTOC-11 News reports that the light needs to be visible so that, when a veteran passes through the neighborhood, he or she will be able to see your support. So, veteran’s appreciation won’t be something merely implied through hearsay and inference. It’ll be a clearly visible statement for prior military’s hard work and service to the United States along with its decree of freedom. The official project website elaborates on Walmart’s reasoning behind its green choice.

“Green is the color of hope, renewal and well-being. ‘Greenlight’ is also a 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.”

Currently, the veteran’s initiative has over 1.5 million active supporters, nationally. While that’s a lot of people, it doesn’t really put a dent in the potential support available within the United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 322.1 million people in this country — that’s excluding illegal immigrants. However, that same agency, in 2014, mentioned that there were 11.3 million U.S. veterans within that 322.1 million.

Basically, at least seven times the number of current supporters are veterans. Moreover, according to KMA Land, more than 250,000 active military personnel will separate this year — further increasing the number of veterans. Dr. Mike Haynie, executive director of the Institute of Veterans and Military Families says as follows.

“It really is about the transition. I think we under-estimate the challenge of making that transition from military to civilian life. More than 250,000 service members will make that transition this year and each year over the next five years. When they make that transition, they will leave behind those personal and professional networks of support that they’ve built while in the military.”

Relevantly, Military Times mentions that Walmart has another, separate veteran program in the works. It’s called the “Welcome Home Commitment.” Under this program, the company has pledged to hire 250,000 veterans by the year 2020. As of date, Walmart has hired 100,000 veteran employees.

This is a great way to ensure prior service members’ employment and income upon military separation. Military discharge isn’t always easy, and many ex-military personnel end up displaced. We Honor Veterans states that approximately 58,000 prior service members are homeless on any given night. Yet, does that issue have to exist?

All in all, what are your thoughts? Do you think more people will get involved and show their support before Veteran’s Day? Yes, 1.5 million is great. However, the potential for more is surely present given the U.S. population.

Feel free to express your opinions in the comments.

[Image via Twitter]