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Operation Green Light

Operation Green Light is a campaign designed to show support for our nation's veterans, raise awareness of the county role in providing support and resources to veterans, and advocate for legislation that will strengthen counties' ability to support veterans.

Launched in 2021 as a collaboration between the NYSAC, NYSCEA, the NYS County Veteran Service Officers' Association, the campaign has been adopted by National Association of Counties (NACo) and has spread to hundreds of counties and local governments across the United States.

Join Operation Green Light!

Governments & Businesses

Operation Green Light encourages counties, towns, villages, private businesses, and organizations to light their buildings in green the week of Veterans Day.

We encourage you to announce your participation ahead of time via press release and through social media posts (see below for samples) and during Veterans Day week.

Use the hashtag #OperationGreenLight in your posts so others can easily find them.

Suggested Operation Green Light Supplies

Need ideas for lighting your county up in green? Find suggested materials here.



Individuals can participate by simply changing one light bulb in their house to a green bulb. This can be an exterior light that neighbors and passersby see, or an interior light that sparks a conversation with friends.


The Operation Green Light Agenda

As part of Operation Green Light, NYSAC is advocating for legislation that will strengthen counties' ability to serve veterans and provide veterans with expanded access to the benefits they've earned.


Strengthen County VSO's

Increase state funding to county veterans’ service agencies to a minimum of $50,000. This small increase will help counties hire a part-time veteran service officer to assist in processing benefit claims, link veterans to peer support services, and develop robust Dwyer programs. This would result in approximately $1,550,000 in additional state resources for county veterans’ service agencies. 


Strengthen Joseph P. Dwyer Program

Increase the base aid for Joseph P. Dwyer grants to $185,000 per county. Right now, Dwyer funds are not allocated equally across the state. Increasing the grant to $185,000 per county would level that playing field. This would result in approximately $3,585,000 in additional state resources for the Dwyer program.


Recognizing ALL Veterans

Expand the definition of “veteran” to recognize the service of Reserve or National Guard service members who have completed 20 years of service. Those individuals should be treated as veterans and receive access to the same services as those currently designated as a veteran under state law.  


Green Jobs for Vets

Create a veteran green energy jobs program to train and link veterans with sustainable, environmentally friendly jobs to meet the goals of the CLCPA. The NYS DOL, SUNY and DVS should partner to create the guidelines and program requirements for a new Veteran Green Energy Workforce Development program.


Educational Opportunity

Expand the Veterans Tuition Awards Program (VTAP) to allow the transfer of unused benefits to a spouse, survivor, or child by enacting S.2119 (Bailey) / A.2154 (Dinowitz).  

County Veteran Services

In addition to creating a visible symbol of support for veterans, Operation Green Light is about raising awareness of the local role in supporting New York's veteran community and the resources available to them. 

In 1945, New York State passed legislation requiring counties to the establish and maintain a County Veterans Service Agency.

County Veterans' Service Officers provide personalized service to veterans and their dependents. There is no comparable advocacy service for that special group of New York citizens. All services are provided without charge.  Service Officers are knowledgeable in federal, state and local laws pertaining to veterans. 

Assistance in the following areas is provided to thousands of veterans, military personnel, and their dependents year after year:

  • VA compensation for service-connected disabilities
  • VA pension for non-service-connected disabilities
  • VA compensation/pension to family members of deceased veterans
  • VA burial benefits and grave markers
  • VA life insurance
  • VA health care
  • VA education and vocational rehabilitation
  • VA home loan guaranties
  • VA, State & Local employment and reemployment
  • Military records
  • Federal, State & Local medals or awards
  • Local real property tax exemption
  • NYS blind annuity
  • Other Federal, State and Local benefits

Some Veterans' Service Agencies provide additional services unique to the needs of their particular areas such as: 

  • transportation service to VA Medical Centers
  • in-home visits to assist the housebound with claims for entitlements
  • satellite offices for the convenience of their constituents
  • assistance and training for veterans' organizations
  • information to community service organizations
  • local veterans' cemetery programs
  • notary service
  • assistance in obtaining legal documents (marriage, birth, military, etc.)
  • cooperative programs with other agencies (employment, welfare, etc.)
  • assistance with community affairs (memorial services, job fairs, etc.)

Learn More About County Veteran Service Offices

In this Virtual Roundtable discussion, Tioga County Director of Veterans Services Michael Michael Middaugh, joined NYSAC Legislative Director Ryan Gregoire to discuss the work of County Veteran Service Officers and what NYSAC will be advocating for in the coming year to support veterans and local veteran services.

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