Fireworks Can Startle Veterans Causing a PTSD Reaction
Some people feel it is their right to set off fireworks, legal or not. But, perhaps you haven't considered the consequence beyond law and annoying the old lady or scaring someones dog. The VA has issued a reminder that fireworks sound a lot like gun-fire and for veterans and first responders who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) it may trigger a very negative reaction.
Official Press Release:
CHEYENNE, Wyo.- The Cheyenne VA Medical Center’s Mental Health program would like to remind everyone to please be courteous and check with their neighbors prior to setting off fireworks during the Fourth of July season if they plan on shooting fireworks in their neighborhood.As fireworks manufactures work hard to mimic gun-fire and sounds of war, Veterans and first responders who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD, may have a negative reaction to a neighbor’s celebration if they are not provided adequate warning.“A simple knock on the door, to ask your neighbors if it is alright to set off fireworks is all it takes,” says Chris Aguilar, a social worker at the Cheyenne facility.Aguilar also said that some Veterans may wish to join you in celebrating. “Many of our Veterans know the triggers or stressors that bring on their disorder, so participating in the celebration could be more enjoyable for the Veteran than being surprised by the sudden noise,” he said.