Fireworks and veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder: what to know before starting your backyard display

“A lot of veterans won’t tell you that they have a problem-they don’t want to spoil the Fourth of July,” said AMVETS National Commander Jan Brown. (Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR)-They are legal in many parts of the country-and possibly in many places they are not — For weeks, the sound of fireworks and firecrackers has heralded the July 4th holiday. This is certainly exciting, at least for those who appreciate nighttime noise and backyard displays, but it is important to remember that these sounds may cause unnecessary stress on some members of the community.

“A lot of veterans won’t tell you they have a problem-they don’t want to ruin July 4th,” said AMVETS National Commander Jan Brown.

“Some people have learned to deal with it. For others, it’s a problem,” she added. “And I’m not telling people not to set off fireworks, but to be considerate. Maybe not to shoot after 11pm.”

Brown, a 27-year veteran of the US Air Force, also admitted that many former soldiers (like her) actually enjoy and look forward to the local fireworks display. But for those who don’t, including anyone with post-traumatic stress disorder, at least they can usually predict when they will be the most active and prepare accordingly.

However, the situation is different this year.

Family celebrations during the pandemic, and Soaring sales Fireworks may help prolong the celebration. For example, Brown claims that she has been listening to fireworks since June, and she expects this event to continue after Independence Day.

In order to be a considerate neighbor, Brown suggests letting professionals handle the firework show, especially after learning that the neighbor may be sensitive to explosions. She said it is a good idea not to set off fireworks at least in the weeks before or after the holiday.

“We should be considerate of all our neighbors, pets, veterans-anyone with noise problems,” Brown said. “Maybe it’s a first responder, a kid. This is not just a veteran problem or a pet problem, it’s a “being a good neighbor” problem. …save it for special occasions, not for the entire month .”

Of course, Brown said she would never ask anyone to give up their fireworks, especially if she is unwilling to make concessions in return.

“This is a good walking route,” she said. “I don’t think we should stop using them because some animals and people have problems with it. People have problems with everything. But if they know when it will happen, they can take preventive measures.

“This is just something you need to pay attention to, if your neighbor may be sensitive,” she said. “No matter what you do [that information] …Let your conscience be your guide. “

AMVETS is a veterans service organization established in 1944 to advocate and provide services to veterans of the U.S. military to improve the quality of life of their members and their families.

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