Fireworks may have impacts on Veterans

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Fourth of July is a day to celebrate independence day, but for some, can cause major triggers for veterans and others who experience post-traumatic stress disorder.

According to the Veterans of Wars Post 12196 Commander Gerald Decker, the sound and smell of fireworks take veterans back to their time in the combat zone.

Decker is a Navy Veteran, who wasn’t in the combat zone but listened to many stories of their experience

Those, like Decker, who weren’t in the battlefield also have horrifying recollections of their time at war.

He says to be empathetic to those who may be triggered during a fireworks show – or react to loud sounds like a helicopter, loud crash or bang.

“Noises like that bring back flashbacks because of the experience they had in a combat zone,” said Decker. “To ask someone not to celebrate the Fourth of July, I don’t think any Veteran would agree with that.”

According to Decker, Veterans are understanding when it comes to Fourth of July celebrations.

“You should celebrate the Fourth of July, this is a consequence of fighting for your country,” he said. “They’ll never forget that experience, it doesn’t go away.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing post-traumatic stress during the upcoming holiday can contact the National Center for PTSD by clicking here.

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