The number of U.S. Military Veterans with PTSD varies by service era (According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs):
Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF): About 11-20 out of every 100 Veterans (or between 11-20%) who served in OIF or OEF have PTSD in a given year.
I know how much I honor and respect our Veteran’s, but something I DO realize is how much I take our Veterans for granted when it comes to daily-life-circumstances, like fireworks on the Fourth of July.
A simple sign I saw today renewed my attention to this matter, and I wanted to share it, in case you too hadn’t thought of this.
The simply sign reads:
Combat Veteran Lives Here
Please Be Courteous With Fireworks.
Some think the signs are offensive because they put a damper on the fun of the holiday, trample rights and are unpatriotic. Nothing could be further from reality.
“Negative. It’s counter to everything we stand and fight for to hamper patriotic celebration or impose views upon anyone taking part,” one person commented on Twitter.
I think most people will find that we can all celebrate without causing these real-life Heroes any more pain or anguish than they already suffer daily.
What these Veterans are asking for is just a little consideration on a very special day. July 4th marks Independence Day for ALL Americans, but for hundreds of thousands of Vets from many eras, the fireworks can be a trigger bringing very difficult and traumatic memories back to life. For the many veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, the sound of the fireworks exploding are all too similar to the sound of gunfire, IED’s and other explosions they encountered during wartime.
PTSD is a serious condition … many soldiers find it unmanageable; others only find solace with the help of daily medication, therapy, and support from service dogs. PTSD greatly contributes to the overall suicide rate, that is skyrocketing, for returning Veterans.
On a holiday meant to Honor those who fought for our Independence in 1776 and everyone who’s defended that Freedom since, please do them a small kindness and keep them in the forefront of your thought as we progress through the holiday.
I’m not one to usually ask you to share anything, but please be sure to SHARE this story to spread awareness about this very important issue facing our Veterans.
After all, one of your unknown neighbors could be a Veteran with PTSD!