The Pierce County Courthouse will be lit with a green light this week in honor of veterans’ service and their families. Photo courtesy of Jason Matthys
Shining a light on the service of local veterans

ELLSWORTH – Each year we come together as a nation on Veterans Day to honor and celebrate the hundreds of thousands of brave Americans who have served our country in uniform.

Now more than ever, our veterans need our support. In a time when our country is divided on so many issues, we can all agree that those individuals who risked everything to protect our country and our way of life deserve our support and gratitude.

That’s why this year, Pierce County is joining our colleagues across the nation in launching Operation Green Light for Veterans, an initiative designed to shine a light on the service of our veterans and their families.

With the pursuit of the safety and security of our nation comes the responsibility to support and serve the veterans who sacrificed on our behalf. Unfortunately, too many recent veterans, after nearly two decades of constant war, are struggling to transition back to civilian life.

Veteran suicides have claimed over 30,000 lives since 2001—four times more than the number of U.S. military personnel who died in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. While the vast majority of veterans return healthy and prepared for civilian life, we must be better as a nation.

As part of Operation Green Light for Veterans, Pierce County is illuminating the Courthouse Dome green beginning on Nov. 7, 2022 and we encourage individuals and businesses to join us 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 on the week of Veterans Day (Nov. 7-13), we encourage individuals to continue to shine the light yearround.

Operation Green Light is also an opportunity to raise awareness of the resources available to veterans and their families. Here in Pierce County, we’ve proudly served approximately 1,840 veterans and provided 249 veteran transports to the Minneapolis Veterans Medical Health Center through our Pierce County Veterans Services Office.

Throughout the year, our county staff are busy connecting our veterans to federal and state benefits, helping them manage employment needs and doctors’ appointments, as well as helping them find veteran peers who can assist with the transition back to civilian life. Veterans and family members can learn more about available services at the Pierce County Veterans Services Office. This Veterans Day, join us in shining a light of hope and support. Join Operation Green Light and let’s turn Pierce County green for our veterans.

Submitted by County Administrator Jason Matthys

November 8, 2022