WASHINGTON — Ahead of Veterans Day, Walmart asked Americans to turn on a green light show their appreciation for those who have served our country.
But the company’s “Greenlight A Vet” didn’t stop on Veterans Day. It is an on-going campaign that aims to shine an emerald glow from every doorway in honor of the nation’s 21.8 million veterans.
“When the green light flashes, it’s an indication of moving forward,” said Gray Profit, Walmart senior director of military programs. “When you ‘greenlight’ something, you encourage people to take action.”
The green light bulb is meant to symbolize hope, renewal and well-being, according to the company.
“The underlying message of the campaign is very important,” said Andrew Waldron, caregiver support program intern for the Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Walmart believes that there should be a public conversation that focuses on veterans and their families, as valuable members in the community, Profit said.
“Greenlight A Vet” was designed to spark a movement, he said.
Gilmore Thompson, a Germantown, Md., veteran who served in the Army from 1967 to 1970, likes the idea.
Shining a green light “is a great way to appreciate those who have defended the country,” he said.
Waldron agrees. “It provides a simple, yet powerful way for Americans to show support and gratitude for our veterans,” he said.
“Imagine a veteran driving through a neighborhood, seeing green lights on every doorstep – that could be a very powerful message,” Waldron said.
The campaign is just one way Walmart can honor veterans for their sacrifices, Profit said.
“Transitioning to civilian life can be very difficult for veterans, and it should be our responsibility as Americans to care for those who cared for us during that transition,” Waldron said. “I consider it a civic and moral obligation.”
The movement that started Oct. 26 now has more than 3 million supporters on the “Greenlight A Vet” website, Profit said. Walmart is grateful to honor those who have served our nation, he said.
According to Walmart’s twitter handle, all proceeds goes to veterans charities. Walmart is also doing its part by pledging to hire 250,000 veterans to its “Welcome Home Commitment” program by 2020.
Participants can buy a green light bulb for 96 cents online or at their local Walmart and show their support by using the hashtag #Greenlightavet.
“(Walmart is) hoping for a sustained national movement with no end,” said Walmart spokesman Scott Markley.