Neighborhood fireworks can be triggering for veterans with PTSD
CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla.– While Fireworks are traditionally how many of us celebrate the 4th of July, for some living with PTSD it can be triggering.
“Some of the veterans, you know it’s just spooky for them,” said Bill Akins, President of the Charlotte County Veterans Council.
Akins says many veterans are caught off guard in the middle of the night, even before the holiday and well after it is over.
“A lot of people are out there buying cherry bombs and firecrackers. Just throwing them out at random anywhere and everywhere,” said Akins.
He explained the sound brings back traumatic memories for the veterans.
“Combat in Vietnam, it would just start. You wouldn’t be expecting it and it would start and there would be lots of gunfire, mines going off, and explosions. Some of the guys can’t deal with it and I understand that,” said Akins.
Veteran organizations suggest leaving fireworks to the experts.
“[Cities] have the fireworks shows for a reason so people can go enjoy them,” said Akins.
Planned events also keep the unexpected booms out of neighborhoods, especially late at night.
“Think about the veterans that have put their lives out on the line and give them a little relief from this insanity,” said Akins.
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