MIDLAND, Texas (Nexstar) – This Independence Day will look very different this year for many families this year. Veterans suffering from PTSD, are more likely to be triggered by the sight, sound, and smell of fireworks this Fourth of July.
PTSD does not affect all veterans according to Rebecca Haberman the executive director of H.E.A.R.T Odessa. Many Veterans enjoy the activities that go along with celebrating the Fourth.
“Veteran’s don’t wanna take away from the celebration…they just don’t like to be surprised by the fireworks,” says Rebecca.
If you or someone you know is looking to partake in this year’s Fourth of July festivities but suffers from PTSD, Rebecca recommends several ways to join in on the fun.
“Either put noise-canceling headphones on with music so you can visually enjoy the fireworks without the noise being triggering or you could leave for a couple of hours until the fireworks displays are over”.
This year to ring in the Fourth of July, Centennial Park hosts its “Star-Spangled Salute” event in downtown Midland, July 3rd.
We spoke with Midland Chamber of Commerce, president of relations, Christine Dooley who encourages folks to come out and enjoy celebrating with one another.
“The day will kick off starting at 10 am and throughout the day, we’ll have food and business vendors open to the public. We’ll wrap up the evening with Fireworks,” says Dooley.
This Fourth of July, be mindful of your neighbors who may suffer from PTSD. Fireworks that catch veterans off guard the most are the ones that happen in the middle of the night.