For Veterans Day this year, Walmart is asking citizens of the U.S. to show their support for our country's military heroes by making one slight change to their homes or offices -- switching out one of their lights with a green bulb.
The "Greenlight a Vet" campaign, conceived out of Saatchi & Saatchi New York, aims to honor our veterans with this simple act, part of a larger Walmart initiative to empower our military as they make the transition back to civilian life.
The green light is meant to represent "go." It symbolizes the leadership and fast action our veterans are known for, skills which will also serve them well in the civilian world. It's also a call to action for the rest of us to help them "go" once they have left the military.
Walmart and Saatchi created a spot promoting the initiative, as well as a series of portraits starring former soldiers recalling their transition back to civilian life. There's one tale of Lourdes, a school coach who suffered PTSD after she returned from Iraq, as well as another about Ian, a former marine who continues to train as he did during his military days. You can see more films on Walmart's "Greenlight a Vet" Youtube channel.
Walmart teamed with organizations such as the Institute for Veterans and Military Familes, Team Red, White and Blue, Team Rubicon, Hire Heroes USA and Blue Star Families to kickstart the movement. "This is a campaign to help create visible and actionable national support for American's veterans and their families," said the retailer in a statement. "You interact with them every day at work, at school and in the neighborhood. However, it's hard to show them support or recognize their contributions when, back home and out of uniform, they're more camouflaged than ever."
"By uniting behind a visible symbol, we can ignite a national conversation in our communities about opportunity, success and service for veterans as they take off the uniform," said Walmart Senior Director of Military Programs and retired Brigadier General Gary Profit in the statement.
The green light is just one small aspect of the campaign, which also asks U.S. citizens to take direct action by doing such things such as hiring veterans or helping them find work, mentoring returning vets, volunteering with veterans' groups or showing support on social media.
On Walmart's part, the retailer has committed to hiring 250,000 vets by 2020 through its Veterans Welcome Home Commitment program and recently "greenlighted" its 100,000 veteran.