© 2022 All Rights reserved WUSF
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Fireworks Can Pose Problems For Some Vets

Military with PTSD
Nitasha Shank shared this photo with the non-profit Military with PTSD that provided her yard sign.

Traditional Fourth of July neighborhood celebrations --- like backyard rockets and cherry bombs -- can be problematic for those who fought to keep the country independent. The red-white-and-blue yard signs say it all: “Combat Veteran Lives Here, Please be courteous with fireworks.”

That’s because loud blasts, flashing lights and smoke can be similar to gunfire or explosions and can trigger panic attacks in a veteran with Post Traumatic Stress.

The non-profit group, Military with PTSD, started distributing the free yard signs to vets a few years ago. The group’s annual report states that more than 4,300 free signs were mailed to vets in 2015.

The idea is not to stop fireworks celebrations. Instead the aim is to remind neighbors that a veteran lives nearby and please give them advanced notice so there are no unexpected blasts.

Bobbie O’Brien has been a Reporter/Producer at WUSF since 1991. She reports on general news topics in Florida and the Tampa Bay region.
WUSF 89.7 depends on donors for the funding it takes to provide you the most trusted source of news and information here in town, across our state, and around the world. Support WUSF now by giving monthly, or make a one-time donation online.