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Posted on: November 4, 2022

David West: Lighting the Way for Nevada County’s Veterans

Operation Greenlight

In 1954, President Eisenhower signed a bill proclaiming November 11th as Veterans Day, calling on the nation to “solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting and enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain.”

In the nearly seven decades since, millions more Americans, including residents of Nevada County, have bravely taken up the call to protect and serve. During the week of November 5th through 13th, Nevada County will participate in its 2nd Annual Military Appreciation Week, an opportunity for local businesses to share gratitude to service members and veterans in our community.  

Military Appreciation Week also gives us a chance to shine a light on the needs of veterans in our community.

Now more than ever, our veterans and their families need our support. National statistics reveal that an estimated 7,400 veterans take their own lives each year. That’s an average of 22 veterans who die by suicide every day.

This year, Nevada County is joining the National Association of Counties (NACo) and the National Association of County Veteran Service Officers (NACVSO) in Operation Green Light for Veterans, an initiative designed to shine a light on the service of our veterans.

As part of Operation Green Light, Nevada County is illuminating the Grass Valley Veterans Memorial Building and the Nevada County Veterans Services Office (NCVSO) in green during Military Appreciation Week to remind veterans and their families in our community that we are here for them. We encourage individuals and businesses to join us by changing one light bulb in the entryway of your home or business to a green bulb.

By shining a green light, we let veterans know that they are seen, appreciated, and supported. While Operation Green Light is focused on Military Appreciation Week, we encourage community members to shine the light year-round.

Roughly 250,000 members transition out of the armed services each year. In the period following separation from the military, service members face the challenge of transitioning to post-military civilian life. Tragically, evidence suggests that transitioning veterans are at higher risk for suicide, yet they often do not receive adequate support and resources. Veteran suicides have claimed over 30,000 lives since 2001 alone—four times more than the number of U.S. military personnel who died in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Beyond showing our support, Operation Green Light is an opportunity to raise awareness of the resources available to veterans and their families. Here in Nevada County, we’re proud to serve approximately 8,500 veterans through our County Veterans Services Office. Throughout the year, NCVSO staff are busy connecting our veterans to their federal and state benefits, helping them manage employment needs and doctors’ appointments, and helping them find peers who can assist with the transition back to civilian life. 

Veterans and family members can learn more about the services available to them by visiting the Nevada County Veterans Services Office at 988 McCourtney Road in Grass Valley, calling us at 530-273-3396, or visiting our website at NevadaCountyCA.gov/VSO

This Military Appreciation Week, join us in shining a light of hope and support. Join Operation Green Light and let’s turn Nevada County green for our veterans.

 

David West is the Nevada County Veterans Service Officer.   Reach him at (530) 265-1446 or david.west@nevadacountyca.gov. The Nevada County Veteran’s Services Office, 988 McCourtney Rd, Grass Valley, CA, is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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