Butte County participating in Operation Green Light supporting veterans

A nationwide show of support for veterans is off to a strong start in the North State.

The Butte County Department of Employment and Social Services is participating in Operation Green Light for the entire month of October and into November.

"Butte County’s support of Operation Green Light both serves as a Green Light, giving the go ahead to veterans to seek the services and benefits their honorable service has made available, and shines a light of recognition on Butte County’s 14,000 veterans and the contributions they make in our communities," said Matthew McCoy, Veterans Service Officer at the Butte County Department of Employment and Social Services.

The main entrances to our facilities in Chico and Oroville will be lit up green every night through November 12 in a show of support for local veterans.

Operation Green Light, led by the National Association of Counties, is an initiative that raises awareness about the unique challenges facing veterans. It is an opportunity to highlight resources available to servicemembers at the county, state and federal level.

"Veterans leave the service and take off one uniform, to put another one on: as first responders, doctors, nurses, educators, business owners, technicians, artists, civil servants, and hold elected offices at all levels of government," explained McCoy. "For many veterans, service does not end when we take off our military uniforms for the last time, rather it is ongoing."

Readjusting to civilian life is often a challenging time for service members, with 44-72 percent reporting high levels of stress during the transition period.

Studies show that veterans are at a high risk of suicide for the first year after military service, which underscores the urgency and importance of connecting them with the support and care that they need.

The need for support programs is expected to increase significantly in the coming years. Around 200,000 service members transition back to civilian life each year and that number is expected to increase by 20 percent in the near future.

At its meeting on Sept. 26, the Butte County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution supporting Operation Green Light, which is now in its second year. Over 300 counties, parishes and boroughs participated in 2022.

All community members are encouraged to show their support by changing one light bulb in their home green. 

“Operation Green Light is a gesture of support and appreciation for the public service of our veterans,” said Matthew Chase, Executive Director of the National Association of Counties. “With hundreds of counties coming together to light everything from bridges to courthouses, we know veterans across the country will see and feel the gratitude we all feel for their service and sacrifices.”

Operation Green Light runs from November 6-12. Anyone can participate and share on social media by using #OperationGreenLight.