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Be courteous: Fireworks can trigger PTSD in veterans

Have you seen this sign in your neighborhood?

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This article was originally posted in 2018, but has been revived to spread awareness for those with Post-traumatic stress disorder.


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The sound of fireworks may not be a big deal to some, but to our veterans, it could trigger their Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

A local veteran explained how loud noises and bright lights affect him. It’s the reason why News4Jax wants to remind everyone to be courteous of local veterans diagnosed with PTSD.

The fireworks can be a nightmare - triggering anxiety attacks and frightening those veterans with PTSD.

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Marine Corps Sergeant James Rivera was deployed three times during his time in the military. He has dealt with PTSD for many years and participated in a new research on the treatment of the disorder. He wants more people to understand what other veterans may be going through when those fireworks go off.

“It’s definitely an instant reminder of my experience in a combat zone with small arms fire and explosions and it brings you right back to war basically. Sometimes you just get scared and you want to run for cover. Your instant reaction is to duck, run for cover and get down. But I’ve been a lot better over the last few years, it’s been a lot easier to handle and to manage," said Sgt. Rivera.

He doesn't want people to feel bad about celebrating the fourth- he enjoys the support and patriotism he sees every year. He just wants people to be more aware of local veterans.

Some people have posted signs in their yard asking neighbors to be courteous when it comes to fireworks. If you see this, avoid setting off the fireworks in the area. It’s all in an effort to help support our service men and women.