Community Blog

Fireworks Courtesy Benefits Combat Veterans and Those with PTSD

By Debbie Humphrey

From now through Labor Day, proud American citizens will enjoy their freedom to celebrate independence, the birth of our great nation, and any other reason they deem worthy, with backyard and neighborhood barbecues including fireworks! As we speak, mini big-top tents are popping-up on nearly every corner and parking lot with enticing BOGO fireworks deals.

I like fireworks almost as much as my children and grandchildren. [Grandpups not included.] However, I am concerned about combat Veterans suffering from PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and the devastating effects that can result from the loud blasts as fireworks explode.

PTSD causes extreme anxiety in those with the diagnosis, and it is a non-discriminatory condition that affects not only combat Veterans, but people of all ages, races and genders.

PTSD occurs mostly in combat Veterans, but it also impacts people who have endured physical harm or the threat of physical harm. It can also manifest in people exposed to dangerous situations, or when a dangerous event involves a loved one or stranger. PTSD also affects individuals, who have suddenly lost a loved one, or know someone who has, and they internalize the pain and loss.

Those who suffer from this dreadful condition feel enormous stress, anxiety and endless thoughts of impending doom, even if there is no imminent threat of danger. Symptoms of PTSD include flashbacks, nightmares and frightening thoughts. Since some fireworks mimic the sounds of small bombs exploding, they can trigger negative memories of those traumatic events.

Sufferers of PTSD often avoid objects, places, and events like fireworks displays that remind them of their traumatic experiences. They may have enjoyed fireworks in the past, but with PTSD, they are now regarded as intolerable and frightening. It makes perfect sense that we all make a conscious effort to exercise fireworks courtesy at our Fourth of July and Labor Day holiday barbecues, especially when living near combat Veterans or anyone suffering from PTSD.

PTSD takes many forms in many kinds of people, young and old. Combat Veterans with PTSD should qualify for “Aid and Attendance” and are encouraged to apply through the government’s Veterans Assistance program. I am happy to guide you to the proper websites to begin the process.

If you, or a Veteran you love, qualifies for Aid and Attendance, which does include in-home care from a recognized organization, or if you suffer from PTSD and do not qualify for the program, the professional caregivers at Home Helpers® are available to assist. We provide non-medical in-home care which includes companion care, transportation assistance, grocery shopping, light housekeeping and more. I offer a FREE in-home consultation so you can learn how a perfectly-matched, compassionate caregiver can help.

Home Helpers® is honored to have received the Provider of Choice 2017 & 2018 awards from Home Care Pulse, and we proudly serve male and female seniors in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Holiday, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, Hudson and surrounding areas. Home Helpers®…Making Life Easier℠ 727.942.2539


Brain & Behavior Research Foundation