EAST MOLINE, Ill. (KWQC)– A major par of July 4th celebrating is also a source of anxiety for many war veterans.
Fireworks can be startling or disturbing for those with post traumatic stress disorder.
A recent survey shows at least 20 percent of military veterans has PTSD.
Marcia Lintz, East Moline resident, said her husband, Bob, spent two tours in Vietnam and now suffers from PTSD
“Well when he is in a crowd, he likes to be in the back always looking around. Loud noises bother him and things like that,” said Lintz.
She said her husband was able to seek help for his disorder and her family has learned to live with it.
“Noise is a factor with people who have PTSD and it startles them. It reminds them of combat and serving in the service,” said Lintz.
Fortunately, her family has been able to attend firework shows because Bob is aware of his disorder.
“He is aware and that awareness it has a lot to do with calming people down. It lays their fears and anxieties if they know and can anticipate the sound of fireworks,” said Lintz.
As the spouse of a veteran, she asks that everyone be aware and cautious of anxious vets when shooting off fireworks.
“I just think we need to be aware. We need to let people know and in the knowing I think that will calm some of the fears and the startled-ness of hearing the noise,” said Lintz.
One military group is trying to help veterans by offering free yard signs to alert the public to be cautious with fireworks.
Click here to learn more about these signs.