A Texas Army veteran has been told his veterans symbol is against the rules of his homeowners association.
Mario Rodriguez, an army veteran who retired from the military in 1997, is taking part in the Greenlight a Vet program, a national initiative sponsored by Wal-Mart to draw attention to the struggles some veterans face once they have transferred back to civilian life. The program consists of changing one light to green in a visible location as a symbol of appreciation and support for veterans.
“Participating in a national movement, designed to recognize those who have worn our nation's uniform as valued, contributing members of our communities, is our way of encouraging all Americans to meaningfully engage with veterans and their families and by so doing, appreciate them as respected civic assets,” said Dr. Mike Haynie, executive director of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, as stated on a news release from Wal-Mart.
Through participating in the program, veterans would be able to see the support they have from American citizens, regardless of whether or not they are wearing military uniforms.
“By uniting behind a visible symbol, we can ignite a national conversation in our communities about opportunity, success and service for veterans as they take off the uniform,” said Gary Profit, Wal-Mart’s senior director of military programs.
As a veteran, Rodriguez was glad to take part in the initiative.
“It was just a way to identify and salute the veterans pretty much,” Rodriguez told WFLD.
In January, Rodriguez recently received two letters on behalf of his homeowners association stating that his green light bulbs need to be removed. Colored light bulbs are against HOA rules.
“These light bulbs have been there since October,” Rodriguez said. “Their inspections weekly never caught it, all of a sudden it’s a problem.”
Rodriguez isn’t the only person in his Houston-area community with green light bulbs.
“No letter, no nothing. Nobody’s told me anything,” said neighbor Joel Duran, who has displayed green lights since November 2015.
Rodriguez is willing to do “whatever it takes” to keep his green light military tribute in plain sight on his home.