Suffolk County officials are asking residents to replace a light bulb inside or outside their home with a green one to show support for veterans ahead of Veterans Day Thursday, county officials said.
Operation Green Light, announced on Monday by County Executive Steve Bellone, is part of a state and national movement designed to highlight contributions made by veterans. The initiative aims to raise awareness about the challenges some face and let veterans know resources are available, county officials said.
The county is sponsoring the initiative, along with the New York State Association of Counties and the state County Veteran Service Officers’ Association. But municipalities and veterans' organizations around the country have been calling on residents to do the same.
In a statement, Bellone called the program a "small way for our residents to show gratitude and appreciation for the incredible sacrifices that our veterans have made."
"I encourage everyone to join with us in displaying a green light for our veterans," Bellone said.
According to statistics from the Census Bureau, 61,090 veterans live in Suffolk, while 43,255 reside in Nassau County and 705,924 veterans live in New York State.
Residents will be able to pick up green light bulbs for free, courtesy of Home Depot, at the following locations: McGann Conference Center — O'Connor Hall at St. Joseph’s College, 155 W. Roe Blvd in Patchogue on Wednesday from 12:45 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.; Island Harvest Food Bank at 126 Spagnoli Rd. in Melville on Wednesday starting at 1 p.m.; and at Smithtown Veterans Plaza on Main Street in Smithtown on Thursday starting at 10:45 a.m.
As part of the initiative, Bellone has directed the H. Lee Dennison Building in Hauppauge to be illuminated green on Veterans Day.
Tom Ronayne, director of the Suffolk County Veterans Service Agency and a disabled Navy veteran, said in a statement the project is a "creative way" for the community to support veterans.