Following The First Lady

Drumthwacket Goes Green Saturday, November 11 In Honor of Veterans Day
photoAlt First Lady Mary Pat Christie announced today that Drumthwacket, the Governor’s Official Residence in Princeton, will glow green this Veterans Day, Saturday, November 11 to honor the service and sacrifice of the nation’s 18.5 million veterans. In New Jersey, as of September 2017, there are 355,766 veterans, of which 25,550 are women.

“Today, we live freely because of the bravery, service, and sacrifice of our nation's military men and women,” said First Lady Mary Pat Christie. “Veteran’s Day is our opportunity to demonstrate our appreciation by thanking these courageous Americans for protecting and ensuring the principles of freedom and democracy at home and around the world. The Governor and I will be lighting Drumthwacket in green on Saturday to honor all of our veterans and we encourage all New Jerseyans to change one light in their homes to green to symbolize their support.”

Through her New Jersey Heroes Foundation, Mrs. Christie has honored several organizations for their efforts to support current military members and veterans across the state.


  • Rod Hirsch, Executive Director of Operation Shoebox New Jersey: Since 2005, Operation Shoebox NJ has shipped more than 120,000 total packages to U.S. military members at posts in the Middle East as well as Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan. The contents are donated by individuals and companies, large and small, in New Jersey.  Donated items needed include lip balm, sun block, moist wipes, bars of soap, small bottles of shampoo, non-aerosol deodorant, powdered drink mixes, cereal/snacks, granola bars, individual packets of instant oatmeal, popcorn and hot chocolate, small cans of fruit with pop tops, gum, candy, athletic socks, and batteries. For more information on Operation Shoebox, visit
  • Michael Ricci, Founder of Operation Beachhead in Sea Girt: Ricci, a combat-decorated veteran who served in Vietnam and sustained permanent injuries, began Operation Beachhead as a means to bring adventurous and challenging therapy activities to disabled U.S. military veterans and now, also includes individuals with disabilities, Ricci has guided veterans for over 30 years on issues of substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder and has been active with disabled veterans organizations throughout the years. For more information about Operation Beach Head, visit
  • Jack McDonald, President of GI Tickets Foundation: The mission of this New Jersey non-profit organization is to thank active military members and their families for their service by sending them to major sporting events and concerts. GI Tickets works with monetary donors, season ticket holders, professional teams, and Fortune 500 companies to utilize unused tickets and tailor custom outings by providing premium seats and creating personal experiences with donors and the soldiers they serve. For more information about the GI Tickets Foundation visit:
  • Danielle Bracco, Executive Director of Bonds of Courage: Established in 2004 to provide a network of support to military members, veterans and their families, Bonds of Courage provides assistance in areas such as employment, health, family issues, and finances through three major initiatives:  Building Bonds; a Mentoring Program; and Care Packages. For more information about Bonds of Courage, visit

Additionally, through her New Jersey Heroes Foundation, Mrs. Christie established the New Jersey Heart of a Hero Scholarship program as an additional means to help New Jersey’s military men and women make their higher education and career goals a reality. The Foundation assisted 40 dedicated military men and women advance their career objectives by providing a total of $250,000 in scholarship awards to these deserving heroes.

To share your support of America’s veterans, take a picture of your greenlight and post it using the hashtag #greenlightavet.  For more information, visit