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Fireworks could cause trauma for veterans with PTSD

Posted at 10:33 PM, Jul 02, 2019

Independence Day fireworks bring joy to millions of Americans over the week of July 4. It is a holiday that Americans unite to celebrate their independence.

But celebrating America's independence could cause trauma for those who have fought for America's independence.

The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that between 11 and 20 percent of those who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars return home with PTSD. The V.A. said that 12 percent of Desert Storm veterans and 15 percent of Vietnam War vets also have PTSD.

While a number of instance can trigger someone to have PTSD, the loud bangs that fireworks cause can be of particular concern for combat veterans.

The V.A. says that PTSD can cause veterans to have upsetting memories, feel on edge, or have trouble sleeping.

Since 2015, the non-profit group Military with PTSD has distributed yard signs informing neighbors that a veteran with PTSD lives nearby. The signs state "Combat Veteran Lives Here, Please Be Courteous with Fireworks."

The signs are distributed nationwide, and can be ordered online.

“Courteous to me means remembering that you are not the only one living in your neighborhood," said Jon Dykes, the veteran who made the first sign. "America celebrates our independence on the 4th of July. Not the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 7th of July. Some fireworks are expected, and that’s OK. I understand; but not 24 hours a day.”

For more information on how to obtain a sign, click here .