War veterans fight fireworks - CBS46 News

War veterans fight fireworks

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DECATUR, GA (CBS46) -

Ahead of this weekend’s Fourth of July festivities, some veterans are fighting back against fireworks.

They’ve asked their neighbors to find another way to celebrate, for fear that the firecrackers will set off symptoms of PTSD.

To help get that message across, the non-profit organization ‘Military with PTSD’, is selling signs that veterans can place in their front yard.

 It reads: “Combat veteran lives here, please be courteous with fireworks.”

 “Ask them and let them know, 'Hey, we're going to be using fireworks. Is it okay? Is it going to bother you?' And if they say yes, then be prepared to accept that and respect them that it is going to bother them and maybe come up with an alternative way to celebrate the Fourth of July,” said veteran Jason Bush.

Those who have fought on the front lines said the booming sound of a firework is startling and opens emotional wounds.

"People don't, you know they just blow it off. 'It's just fireworks.' Yeah OK, when you're getting rocketed and getting shot at it's not fun,” said war veteran Matthew Oliver.

Doctors said it’s usually the sight, smells and sounds you don’t expect that trigger PTSD symptoms.

“Having just completely no hope, you know isolation, extreme anxiety, reliving the trauma over and over and over again, not being able to let it go, nightmares, the list goes on and on and on,” said Bush.

The Department of Veteran Affairs reported about 11-20 percent of people who served in Iraq or Afghanistan suffer from PTSD any given year. 

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