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Community shows support for veterans
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Employees and owners of Dawson Jewelers stop and pose for a photo with their custom made Green Light a Vet shirts. Dawson Jewelers have been a big supporter for Greenlight a Vet. Pictured from left to right Di Dawson, Dana Dawson, Stacy Owen, David Hillman and Mary Jackson.

The movement
According to the Green Light a Vet website, America’s veterans are some of our nation’s bravest, hardest-working men and women. However, it’s hard to show them the appreciation they deserve when, back home and out of uniform, they’re more camouflaged than ever. 
Green Light a Vet is a campaign to establish visible national support for our veterans by changing one light to green.
Organizers ask residents to change one light to green in a visible location-on their porches, in their homes or at their offices, and keep it glowing every day as a symbol of appreciation and support for veterans.
For more information on Green Light a Vet visit

When people see the color green, they may think of the spring grass, leafs blowing in the wind, or even Christmas time.
But the color green has another meaning, one of hope, renewal and well-being. When you add a green light to this, now it also means forward movement.
That second meaning behind the color green is what started a national movement called “Green Light a Vet”.
This movement is meant to start a national conversation regarding the recognition of veterans, and “green light” them forward as valued members of their communities.
The movement was started by Walmart and other sponsors, and before people knew it, other business got behind it and started bringing it home.
This is what happened in Great Bend – a local business stood behind this movement and before people knew it, green lights were popping up all over town to show support for veterans.
This business was Dawson Jewelers. The owners of this jewelry store learned about Green Light a Vet through the internet.
“I was surfing the web and saw a hashtag called Greenlight a Vet,” Di Dawson said. “It is such a simple way to honor our veterans.
“This movement makes me teary eyed, it makes me think of a friend of mine that has passed away, she was a Gulf War veteran,” Dawson said.
Dawson went to the local Walmart and ordered 500 green light bulbs and passed them out to people of the community.
“I first ordered 100 bulbs, and they flew out the door in two days,” Dawson said. “I went and ordered 200 more and they flew out the door, so I went back and ordered 200 more.”
As word spread, other local business started putting green lights in their stores and restaurants.
Approximately 20 business in Great Bend got involved.
Merchants were not the only ones that supported the idea. Great Bend Community Coordinator Christina Hayes got behind it as well.
She was contacted by Dawson and jumped in without any hesitation.
“Our country is free due to our veterans,” Hayes said. “Green Light a Vet is a way for us to show our appreciation and to thank them for their service.”
These two women are taking Green Light a Vet a step further.
This year’s Home for the Holidays Parade is themed “A Soldiers Christmas Wish”, and Green Light a Vet seems to fall right into step with this.
“Ultimately I would like green lights to be shown especially on the night of our Lighted Home for the Holidays parade “A Soldiers Christmas Wish’ so to me it seems to really fit this year.” Hayes said.
With the parade coming up at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 28, these women would like to see the green lights glowing throughout the community for the parade.
“Next year I would like to start a new tradition here in Great Bend with these green lights,” Dawson said. “Instead of the normal Christmas lights this year for the holidays, we ask that people in the community use green lights instead to decorate.”