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Fireworks Are Torture For Some

KSAL Staff - July 3, 2014 6:43 am

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While you and your family are out setting off fireworks, a neighbor may be dreading every boom.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder has plagued war vets, and those fireworks could trigger flashbacks.

Iraqi vet and CBS News Military analyst, Ret. Col. Jeff McCausland remembers when he came home from the war.
“Returning from combat where people will be a bit more jumpy, or a bit more disturbed by explosions. I think most people would understand that. That usually goes away, one way for me in a few months.”

A Facebook page called Military with PTSD shows a combat vet putting a sign in his yard saying, “Please Be Courteous with Fireworks.” McCausland says he can understand if someone has that issue.

“When you spend a year or so away from your loved ones, living in the dirt. Not taking a shower. Eating bad food. Then all of a sudden within one airplane ride, you’re transformed from nowhere Afghanistan or nowhere Iraq to downtown America. Even if you hadn’t been shot at, that’s one heck of a transition.”
McCausland has been an advocate for doing more for those with PTSD. He says it starts with the Veterans Administration providing more in medical and mental assistance. Also support for the families who have a loved one who is suffering from PTSD. Then we, as a community, need to do more ourselves.

“We as a community need to be more aware of the challenges that these young folks who have served our nation so well, are going though as they integrate back into the United States. Problems with post-traumatic stress. Problems with injuries. And then the whole return to society and finding a job. That’s really a tough situation that many go through.”

For more information on PTSD, visit, www.ptsd.va.gov.

Story by Shawn Wheat / WIBW Radio

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