Wal-Mart launched a campaign to honor former members of the American military in the weeks leading up to Veteran's Day on Nov. 11. The campaign is called 'Greenlight A Vet', and it is a simple initiative launched by the retail giant to show gratitude for the 2.5 million veterans in the U.S.
According to the campaign's website, GreenlightAVet.com, the project calls on Americans to change one light bulb in a visible location to a green-colored bulb, and to keep it glowing each day to show appreciation and support for veterans. The idea behind the color green is that it is a color of hope and renewal, and is meant to signify the "greenlight" to veterans as valued members of their communities.
“Some of these programs don’t have the visibility, but with the assets Wal-Mart provides, this could bring the focus to the American public all at once,” Chris Erickson, an Army veteran, told the Military Times.
“A veteran can sit for an average of 22 weeks in unemployment between their last military paycheck and a new job ... and they just need to know there is a support network out there for them."
The green light is a simple, visible and direct way of supporting veterans, but some may have trouble finding green bulbs. An SILive article reports that in Staten Island, New York, both Lowe's and Home Depot report only having a few left in a couple of different locations. An easy alternative would be to use a Christmas decoration, such as an electric candle, for the purpose.
The project's website was launched on Oct. 26, and had surpassed 475,000 digital clicks supporting the initiative by Nov. 4, according to the Military Times. By Veteran's Day, Nov. 11, that number had reached more than 3 million. The final tally will be displayed during the New York Veterans Day Parade, which began at 11:25 a.m. EST.