Effort by counties, lighting buildings in green, earns award for promoting veterans’ services

File photo by Tom Rivers: The dome of the Orleans County Courthouse was illumined in green on Nov. 11, 2021 to show support of military personnel transitioning to civilian life. It was part of “Operation Green Light” to recognize the service of military personnel and their shift to being a civilian.

Posted 30 March 2023 at 2:50 pm

Press Release, New York State Association of Counties

A county-driven campaign to honor our honoring our nation’s veterans has won a prestigious award for its effective design, strategy and implementation.

The Operation Green Light campaign received the 2023 MARCOM Award in the Public Relations Campaign category, according to the New York State Association of Counties.

The campaign, which encourages residents and businesses to illuminate the entryway of their house or business with a green bulb, was launched by NYSAC in collaboration with the NYS County Executives’ Association and NYS Veteran Service Officers’ Association in 2021.

It was adopted in 2022 by the National Association of Counties (NACo), which promoted it to other states and counties across the nation, ultimately leading to the participation of more than 325 municipal governments.

“Operation Green Light grew so much bigger than we could have imagined,” said

NYSAC Executive Director Stephen Acquario. “Seeing county buildings shining in green across New York State, and as far away as Alaska and Texas, really speaks to the desire our counties and residents have to show their support and gratitude to our veterans. If just one veteran or family member found some peace or found support resources as a result of Operation Green Light, then it was a success, but it’s also very gratifying to see the hard work of our team recognized with this award.”

In addition to showing support for veterans, Operation Green Light also raises awareness about the local services available to veterans through their local Veteran Service Office. County Veterans’ Service Officers are located in every county of the state and provide personalized service to veterans and their dependents, free of charge.

Veteran Service Officers assist veterans and their families with accessing federal benefits like healthcare, housing, and employment services, and also help connect veterans to counseling services like the Joseph P. Dwyer Peer Support program.