Guilford County Commissioner Pat Tillman joined the Marines five weeks after graduating from Appalachian State University, and now, years later, his concern for veterans and the military continues to show.

That was evident at the Thursday, Oct. 19 meeting of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners when Tillman enthusiastically asked everyone in the county – from private citizens to local governments to area businesses – to take part in Operation Greenlight this year.

Operation Greenlight is a nationwide awareness campaign meant to demonstrate support and appreciation for military veterans. The initiative also seeks to shed light on the unique challenges that are often faced by veterans and their families.

 Operation Greenlight is also meant to bring awareness to veterans of the resources available to them at the local, state, and federal levels.

Tillman said he’s been working with the county’s PR Department and other county staff to get the word out this year, and has been speaking with leaders of the small towns in the county to try to get them on board.

“I appreciate all the support,” he said at the meeting.

Tillman currently serves as a Platoon Sergeant with the 1452nd Transportation Company of the NC Army National Guard and he has been known to come straight from army events to commissioners meetings in uniform but unarmed.

Operation Greenlight runs from Monday, Nov. 6 to Saturday, Nov. 11 this year.

Guilford County government, for one, is all in on Operation Greenlight.  During this period, both Guilford County courthouses – and some other county buildings as well – will be adorned with green lighting to show the county’s commitment to the cause.

Also, at the October 19, Board of Commissioners meeting, the board passed a resolution supporting the national effort and encouraging county residents to participate by illuminating their buildings and homes with green lights in order to convey “a heartfelt message to veterans that they are recognized, valued, and supported.”

 At the meeting, the commissioners were joined by Executive Director Patrick Davis and Board Member Merideth Porter of the Heroes Center, Network Director Cory Spoor with Veteran’s Bridge Home, Robert Shelly Director of the County’s Veterans Services Office and Members of the Marine Corp League #260.

Tillman noted, “Guilford County is home to over 29,000 veterans, and whether you choose to illuminate a local business or your own home and display a green light for all to see, these actions help to initiate conversations with family and friends; each green light sends a powerful message. It signifies our deep appreciation for the service and sacrifices made by veterans and their families. While veterans and their families encounter distinctive challenges, we want to remind them that they are never alone in their journey. It’s our collective responsibility to ensure that our community is here to serve and support them.”

The Guilford County Veterans Service Office is just one outlet that offers a variety of resources for veterans and their families.

Residents are encouraged to share their participation on social media using the hashtags #GuilfordGlowsGreen and #OperationGreenLight.