INDIANAPOLS— The Fourth of July holiday weekend can be tough on some veterans. The fireworks and sound of explosions can be triggering for those suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.
“If you've been exposed to combat and theaters in which we've been in for the last 20 some years that can be startling for a veteran especially if you're not prepared for that,” said Gordon Smith, Veteran Service Officer for Marion County.
He said when this time of year comes he knows to mentally prepare.
“We know that the holiday is coming around every year. We know that. It's not like it's going to be some other day of the week or the year, we know it's always the Fourth of July,” Smith said.
He said it is the fireworks that are done outside of Fourth of July celebrations that can be unexpected and startling. He said those are more likely to trigger those suffering from PTSD.
“Every veteran is different because each one of our situations are different, so therefore just be cognizant of if there is a veteran in your neighborhood… and it may not even be a veteran. It could be also other individuals that may have experienced a traumatic situation."
It is a good reminder to consider your neighbors when you are having fun this weekend.
One tip from the University of Michigan Department of Psychiatry is to alert your neighbors if you plan to set off fireworks. That will give them time to prepare.
Smith said he enjoys seeing people celebrating our country for the Fourth of July.
“It's also knowing that that is what I fought for as a veteran and what I went overseas for, and that's exactly it. For people to be able to do things like that, so I just know in my own mind just be aware of it more than anything,” Smith added.