Overlooked effects of fireworks on veterans
While ringing in the new year with fireworks can be a form of celebration for some, it can be a trigger for veterans living with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Fireworks going off on New Year’s Eve is a way that many ring in the new year, but for veterans living with post-traumatic stress disorder it can be a long night. Crusaders for Veterans President Kevin Cuttill said, “This time of year, we don’t shoot them off at dusk. We shoot them off at midnight and half of us older veterans and stuff, we go to bed at eight, nine, ten o’clock. So, when we’re woke up by a sound and we were not expecting it, it is even worse.”
The sound of fireworks being blasted at midnight could take veterans with PTSD back to a time they don’t want to remember. “You hear an immediate boom because some people shoot some loud ones, your immediate response is getting defensive. So, you may be triggering something that veterans do not want to be triggered.”
Cuttill encourages people to inform their neighbors living with PTSD before popping fireworks. “Just be a considerate neighbor. Let everybody know on your street ‘look at midnight I’m shooting those off.’ 11 o’clock time frame whatever, and just be upfront with them and let them know that way we are prepared.”
Cuttill wants everyone to be mindful and respectful when it comes to veterans living with PTSD.