FIREWORKS AND OUR VETERANS
The Fourth of July is a significant holiday for citizens of the United States of America. We all come together with family and friends to enjoy a nice cookout and each other’s company. But, most importantly, we celebrate how lucky we are to live in a free country.
This freedom came at a price, though. Brave Americans have laid their lives on the line day in and day out to protect this freedom we sometimes take for granted. We look to celebrate those who have died for our freedom and those who have come back home with lifelong reminders of the sacrifices of war.
One of those reminders that many veterans are forced to live with is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD for short. PTSD is triggered by objects or noises that remind them of war, such as sudden loud booms. These objects and noises snap these brave veterans back to the horrible realities of the battlefield and often cause severe anxiety and depression.
One of these triggers is fireworks, something that has been an American tradition on Independence Day for decades. To the average citizen, fireworks are a sign of joy and excitement, but they can be challenging for a veteran. The loud, sudden boom is often a reminder of war and can trigger this PTSD. Luckily, a nonprofit organization called “Military with PTSD” has created yard signs for veterans that suffer from the harsh reality of Post-Traumatic Stress. The sign reads, “Combat Veteran Lives Here, Please Be Courteous with Fireworks.”
The sign wasn’t created to halt all the joy and excitement that comes with celebrating our freedom. Instead, it simply serves as a reminder to be aware of the difficulties veterans have with fireworks. Many veterans love the idea of fireworks; however, they want a little heads up before big booms, and bright colors light up the night sky this holiday weekend, as it may trigger their PTSD.
Many veterans like the idea of this sign because it makes their neighbors aware and more cautious and helps open up the dialogue with their neighbors about PTSD. For a veteran returning home from a war-torn country, it can be challenging to mesh back into the daily routine of everyday life and open up to their neighbors about the events they experienced while fighting for freedom. Opening up this dialogue with friends and neighbors makes the transition easier on the veteran as well.
This holiday weekend, have fun enjoying the company of family and friends while enjoying such a great holiday. But please, also be aware of veterans around you, especially those who have PTSD, before you start one of this country’s greatest traditions of setting off fireworks. They want to enjoy this holiday just as much as you do.