Post July 4th fireworks can cause triggers

Post July 4th fireworks can cause triggers

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Fireworks are a staple for celebrations across the nation for the Fourth of July. However, popping off fireworks in the days following can trigger episodes for veterans or military members suffering from PTSD.

"Fireworks sound just like rifles, ammunition. So, it can bring back or trigger events that they were experiencing when they were in the service overseas," veterans peer coordinator for the Helen Farabee Centers, Elliot Bonner said.

Disabled veteran and former Air Force Staff Sgt. David Willett does not suffer from PTSD but know his fellow brothers and sisters in arms are fighting a constant battle, especially in the days following the Fourth of July. He has ideas to help prevent these triggers during the holiday season.

"One of the ways we can do that is to cut down on illegal fireworks in Wichita Falls," Willett said.

Bonner said if a veteran or military member, who suffers from PTSD, hears fireworks following the Fourth of July it can make them feel like they're back on the battle lines.

"They can regress back to the times when they were in a war and start retaliating. They can go back and get their rifle thinking they're being attacked or fired upon and retaliate," he said.

At the end of the day, both Bonner and Willett want the public to be informed about the possible damage their holiday fun could be causing their neighbors who fought for our freedom.

"We need to be able to help the veterans that are having problems, {let them} know that there are places they can get help," Willett said.

If you or someone you know is a veteran and suffering from PTSD there is a Veteran Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 then press 1 or at VeteransCrisisLine.net.

Samantha Forester, Newschannel 6
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