Driving through the streets of Mifflintown, you’ll come across green light after green light. But these aren’t traffic signals, these lights are sending a different message.
“I just feel that our veterans, once they complete their active service, are camouflaged in with the rest of society and don’t get the recognition or support they deserve,” said Del Shank of Mifflintown. “So, by everyone displaying a green light bulb, that’s what we’re doing. We’re showing appreciation and support to them.”
Shank goes door-to-door handing out the special lightbulbs along with information about vets. He calls it the Glowing Green project. He started it after reading a disturbing fact: 20 veterans commit suicide each day.
“I’ve never been able to get that statistic out of my head,” said Shank. “I thought if I could do something, anything to bring that number down, to make veterans aware there is help out there.”
The idea: people display the green light around their homes as their way of showing they care. Shank started the effort just a few weeks ago, and it’s already spreading.
“I live in Port Royal, and every day there’s more and more green lights,” said Bryan Baker. “I think a veteran really appreciates that.”
Bryan is a proud supporter. He has four green lights at his home.
“When I turn that light on every night and let it on all night till daylight, I feel I’m doing my part,” he said. “If one person goes by the house and says, ‘hey, that guy supports,’ it’s worth it.”
Seeing so much green around town means the world to Shank.
“To me, every time you turn that light on or you look out and see your green light on, if it doesn’t give you a little sense of pride, I would suggest you pack up and find another country to live in,” he said.
Shank was not in the military. He’s just one man looking to make a difference.
“No matter how much this venture costs, one life saved is going to be a success,” he said.
Shank pays for all of this out of his own pocket. If you would like to help him replenish the green light bulbs, you can send a donation to the Mifflintown VFW.
Shank hopes this doesn’t just stay in Mifflintown. He wants to see green lights all across the Midstate.