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Northeast Wyoming turns green to support veterans

National Association of Counties

Starting on Monday, Nov. 6 folks in Sheridan, Gillette or Buffalo may see green lights instead of the normal hue. Northeast Wyoming is participating in Operation Green Light, which is meant to show support for veterans that may have mental health problems.

“What it boils down to is replacing a light bulb with a green light or lighting up buildings green,” said Kayla Stevens, a member of the suicide prevention team at the veterans affairs office in Sheridan.

Steven’s said the gesture shows veterans that the community supports and cares for them. The green light prompts people to ask questions and find out more about how to support veterans.

“So a significant risk factor for suicide is feeling isolated, alone and hopeless,” she said. This can also be a gesture that can show that you're not alone. Maybe combat some of the isolation. Maybe they didn't know that they could talk to somebody.”

Stevens said 11 out of 17 veterans that die by suicide each day are not connected to a VA. This is especially true in Wyoming where the VA doesn’t have roots in every community.

“But likely they are members of a community. So they're going to the doctor and maybe seeing some of those community providers. Or they're your neighbor or your family member,” she said.

The Veteran Memorial at the Whitney Commons in Sheridan will be lit with green floodlights for a week. Business and community members are also welcome to put green bulbs in.

While this is Sheridan’s first time participating, Campbell and Johnson counties have participated in the past.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, call 988 and press 1 for veterans or active service members.

Kamila has worked for public radio stations in California, New York, France and Poland. Originally from New York City, she loves exploring new places. Kamila received her master in journalism from Columbia University. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the surrounding areas with her two pups and husband.
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