Fourth of July fireworks can trigger PTSD in veterans

Barsaba Taglieri
Luglio 5, 2017

"I don't want to discourage anyone from enjoying the holiday, this is what our men and women died for, so we can enjoy the freedoms and you should celebrate them", said Krieger. But for some who've risked their lives defending that freedom, fireworks bring them right back to the horrors of the battlefield.

Tincher lives in Mathe Village, a complex built exclusively for military veterans in Sacramento.

He says when he-and many of his neighbors hear the explosions of fireworks-it triggers their post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

"I wanted WNY Heroes to get involved with that and do lawn signs, but with everything we had going on this year, it slipped our mind", he said.

Some veterans' cases of PTSD at Mather Village are worse than others, but any fireworks show nearby could trigger quite a few people.

Fourth of July fireworks can trigger PTSD in veterans

According to mental health experts at the Cheyenne VA, there are steps veterans and those around them can take to prepare.

Brashear said some vets avoid big firework shows.

"You're setting of explosives next to a guy who's been blown up for a year. My heart rate immediately jumps, shortness of breath", he said.

Brashear said he doesn't think people always recognize what veterans go through, and while neither Brashear or Tincher expect-or necessarily want-fireworks shows to stop, they think people lighting off fireworks near their homes should get to know their neighbors; one of them could be a veteran reliving the war from their living room.

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