Combat veterans struggle with PTSD on July 4 - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Combat veterans struggle with PTSD on July 4

Courtesy: National Center of PTSD Courtesy: National Center of PTSD
For some veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, the sounds of fireworks can bring back painful memories. The National Center of PTSD took to social media this year, asking everyone to be more considerate of combat veterans.

The sound of unexpected fireworks can create a miserable experience for those with post traumatic stress disorder who have fought for our freedom.
"I kind of have a problem, anytime something would go off, I was nervous," said army veteran of 22 years George Stephens.

Stephens said even now, years after he's gotten back from the Vietnam War, unexpected loud sounds like fireworks can give him flashbacks. 

"You could have something go off next door and it kind of riles you up, people wonder what's wrong with you, i'm not crazy or anything, I just still have some problems," said Stephens. 

The National Center for PTSD is trying to raise awareness about how fireworks can effect veterans like Stephens. 

A post regarding the matter on social media has been shared nearly 80-thousand times. It features a sign reading "Please be considerate with fireworks, combat veteran lives here."

"I think it's good but it's coming a little bit late," said Stephens. Several of the veterans explained to KSLA News 12, they are not asking their neighbors to stop their celebrations completely, they are just saying a little bit of notice goes a long way for them.

Experts say it's not necessarily the fireworks that trigger panic attacks, but it's the unexpected noises. Even just a knock on the door to give the veteran some warning is helpful. 

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