Luckily, communities are stepping up to help their hometown heroes overcome what could potentially be a stressful day.
One non-profit organization, Military with PTSD, is helping veterans suffering from PTSD this 4th of July by handing out signs to veterans that read, “Veteran lives here. Please be courteous with fireworks.”
They will also give signs to anyone else who wants to raise awareness for the issue, the North Fulton Neighbor reports.
Likewise, the City of Woodhaven, Michigan, is getting a positive response from the local community for handing out the same type of signs, the News-Herald reports.
The Westhampton War Memorial Ambulance in New York is doing their part by handing out the signs as well.
The chief of Westhampton War Memorial Ambulance, Robert Bancroft, told The Southampton Press, “You don’t know who your next door neighbor is. You don’t know who the guy living down the street might be.”
Volunteers in the Westhampton War Memorial Ambulance believe that the signs will bring greater awareness to the issue and hope that it will spark dialog between citizens and their veteran neighbors.
Dina Wayrich, the first assistant chief of Westhampton War Memorial Ambulance said, “PTSD is very serious, and for our combat veterans suffering every day with PTSD, the sounds, the explosion of the fireworks may affect them negatively, and I just want them to be aware and to think about that before they go ahead and light them off.”
In Lexington, Kentucky, Veterans of Foreign Wars is asking the public to think about veterans this 4th of July before shooting off those fireworks.
Nicole Horseman, a member of VFW Post 680 said, “The Fourth of July is just hard,” according to WTVQ.
Like many veterans, Horseman served her country in Iraq but now suffers from PTSD.
“The noises are triggers. They can cause immediate flashbacks to situations that we may or may not want to remember,” she said.
Horseman said that fireworks can cause stress during the holiday because it reminds them of their time in the service.
Additionally, she reminded her fellow Americans to be “respectful” of veterans this 4th of July.
“We’re out there. We could be your next door neighbor or two blocks over so just be respectful. Fire off those firecrackers and celebrate at the appropriate times,” she said.
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