Veteran Services Director Michael Hennessy announces plan to support combat veterans
By Andrew Harris
Honoring our veterans is important and the county Director or Veterans Services Michael brought “Operation Green Light” to the county legislature as a unique way to show support.
It is very easy: We are surrounded by combat veterans, peace time veterans, and families of these veterans. “Operation Green Light” is a great way to let those heroes among us know that we support them.
Coming back from combat zone and into civilian life is a major transition for veterans. Even decades after the war ended, blending back into society is never normal for many combat veterans. For those who experienced battle and the stress associated with war, nothing is normal ever again.
That is what makes “Operation Green Light” so powerful and important. By just putting a green light bulb on your front porch, ever veteran who sees that light sees an ally.
Hennessy told a story about the grandson of a veteran who saw the green light in front of his home. Even those who haven’t known the hells of war, appreciate the green light in recognition of veterans.
County Chairman of the Board issued a proclaimation(found below,) about the Green Light Project in Allegany County and Hennessy made some pointed remarks.
“It didn’t matter if they were wartime veterans or peace time veterans, every mission was important to defend our country at all times.”
Hennessy likes that the Green Light doesn’t make a big noise but makes a big impact. Everytime a veteran drives by and sees a green light, it offers acknowledgement and a ‘thank you.’
Anita Mattison of the Allegany County Office of the Aging was thanked for her work on the project and newly installed deputy county administrator Mallory Short for being a key player.
Here is the proclaimation from Allegany County:
In advance of the upcoming Veterans Day holiday, Allegany County announces that County buildings will be illuminated green November 6 through the 12th as part of Operation Green Light, a nationwide initiative to support veterans and raise awareness about the challenges faced by many veterans and the resources that are available at the county, state, and federal level to assist veterans and their families. With support of the Allegany Senior Foundation and the Office for the Aging of Allegany County, green light bulbs will be available at the Office for the Aging at the Crossroads location, for Allegany County residents, while supplies last. To request a bulb, call us toll free at 866.268.9390 or 585.268.9390.
The collaborative was developed by the NYS Association of Counties and the NYS County Veteran Service Officers’ Association in 2021 and was adopted this year by the National Association of Counties (NACo) and National Association of County Veteran Service Officers (NACVSO). Michael Hennessy, Veterans’ Service Agency Director, says of the initiative, “The Allegany County Veterans’ Service Agency is pleased that Allegany County leadership is promoting “Operation Green Light” in honoring the county veterans who have served in times of war and peace. Operation Green Light is a silent reminder of the sacrifice our veterans have made.”
In addition to lighting County buildings, residents and businesses are encouraged to join by changing one light bulb in the entryway of your house or business to a green bulb. By shining a green light, we let veterans know that they are seen, appreciated, and supported. While this event is focused around the week of Veterans Day (November 6-12), participants are encouraged to continue shining the light year-round.
Residents can share their participation on social media using the hashtag #OperationGreenLight. “We’re incredibly proud to see so many counties in New York State and now around the nation joining Operation Green Light. This is an amazing opportunity to show support for our veterans and raise awareness about the local resources available to support them and their families as they continue to transition back to civilian life,” said NYSAC Executive Director Stephen Acquario. Visit nysac.org/operationgreenlight or https://www.alleganyco.gov/departments/veterans-agency/ for more information and links to resources available to veterans.
About Allegany County Situated along the upper Genesee River and bordering Pennsylvania to the South, Allegany County, known as the Western NY Wilds, is a welcome retreat for visitors, residents, and businesses alike. Amidst our lush green forests and hills, you’ll discover a lifestyle that is safe, accessible, and affordable.
About Allegany County Veterans’ Services
The Allegany County Veterans’ Service agency assists Veterans with compensation for service-connected disabilities, pension for non- service-connected disabilities, compensation to family members for service-connected deaths, pension to family members for non- service-connected deaths, burial benefits, federal grave markers, home loan guarantees, military records corrections and military medals or awards, blind annuity applications. For assistance with any of these services or general inquiries, please call 585.268.9387.