Greenlight – Not for me

I get “symbolic”  gestures, and I  believe they have a place  in  our lives, of course they do.  Shoot,  flying my flag is about as symbolic a gesture as can be and I do that every day.

Everything type of  disease,  kids going hungry,  people dying senselessly,  animals being abused, you  name it. Whatever the cause, there are people saying   do this  to show your support for that…. Nothing wrong with a  social  media post  to show your support for something, I do it all the time,  and I click like on many a  post to show my support…or change my profile picture  or whatever…   it doesn’t  cost me a dime and it  tells whomever posted it that I care, maybe not enough to send  them a check, but  enough to move my mouse and click something.

Hey that is as much as some people can do and that is great.  Power to the clickers!  And sharers! Social media is a great tool for  helping causes no doubt about it.

But here’s  where I’m drawing the line : Call me a skeptic,  call me cynical  call me whatever you like – except late for dinner! The latest  “trend” I’m seeing on social media  and TV  is to go to a store  (or conveniently from your home, order and have delivered the next day)  buy  a  green light bulb and leave it turned on 24X7  to show you support  for  veterans!

WHAT??  That sounds like a  retail sales  and power company win to me,  not a win for veterans in need!  I could  not find  anywhere  from the “sponsor” of this event   where they would donate  money made  from each green lightbulb they sell to  a veteran’s organization or anything like that. I’m not saying  they  don’t give money  to charity or other veterans organizations just that I couldn’t find anything linked to  this  ad I saw on national tv and floating all over social media.

As a vet, I can  say  –  please don’t waste your money on this for me. Most  all the veterans I know or have known – from WWII to  Present don’t need  a green light on your porch to know that  we’re supported if we need it. That  Flag flying on your  house is plenty of  support for me, it’s even better when you lower it when it’s supposed to be lowered (pet peeve).   We served our country and Old Glory is  our symbol and she is all we need for your support.

Sure a thanks once a year is fine  and very  humbling,  but we really don’t even need that. We did what we did, we served and we’re proud of that, our families are  proud of us (if they aren’t, well,  that’s their problem not ours)  and that’s  good enough for us.   The vast majority of vets (in my opinion)  are living our lives  relatively OK, the ones we are worried about and   that need our help, really deserve our help  –  they  could really use the programs  provided by worthy non-profits and other quality  veteran organizations.  What they  don’t need and  probably can’t see and could  not care less about is the color of a lightbulb on your porch.

Here’s  my suggestion – take that  money you were going to spend on  a green light bulb, add in the gas money you’re spending  to go get it or have it delivered, add in again the  amount it takes to run that lightbulb  24X7 for a year and donate that to a quality  veteran outreach or other organization.  They can use  that money much better than the companies selling the lightbulbs or the  power company running them…   If you feel the need to buy something  for your house, make it an American Flag  and display it properly.

Nothing against  symbolic gestures, but they shouldn’t cost you and they certainly  shouldn’t take  funds away from  where they are needed.

4 thoughts on “Greenlight – Not for me

  1. Oh Michael!!!! You echo my thoughts EXACTLY!!!! That was my reaction when I read the Green Light Initiative…”WHAT is that going to do for the Veterans”??? They can’t EAT a green light, they can’t LIVE in a green light, they can’t WORK at a green light….come on..get real!!! Don’t let people feel all warm and fuzzy because they changed that porch light to green…that does NOTHING!!! SMH

  2. Agreed. As a vet I did what I did for me so I feel guilty when people say thank you cause in my eyes, I didn’t really do anything . I do feel sorry for the Korean/ Vietnam vets cause I thought they were forgotten . To hell with those green bulbs. Walk up and shake my hand and look me in the eye and say thank you. That my friend is priceless.

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