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Fireworks Can be a Challenge for Combat Veterans

WAOW Television

It's not what's expected on July 4th that is a problem for combat veterans.

Instead, it's the unexpected booms heard in the days before and after the holiday.

"Setting them off on July 1, 2, 3 and the 5th..that's the issue," said Tom Heiser, Vietnam Veteran.

Veterans say, those unexpected sounds and the smell of gunpowder in the middle of the night can trigger flashbacks of their time in combat zones.

"Hear the multi-firecrackers you know, the fireworks and it takes them back as well so it's a community situation and all we're asking for is just respect," Heiser said.

One way veterans say you can help, give them a heads up before setting off fireworks.

That way they have time to prepare for the noise or get away to someplace quiet.

"You know it's communication between neighbors you know is key. In the past I have talked to my neighbors and said hey here's my text number, you know if you're going to shoot off fireworks let me know ahead of time," said Tim Bubla, US Navy Veteran.

Some veterans will have signs in their yards so neighbors know to be aware and courteous when setting fireworks off.

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