HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – Families are preparing to celebrate the Fourth of July this weekend, but the celebrations could trigger post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for some veterans.
Some veterans in Hattiesburg shared their personal experiences when it comes to fireworks.
Jordan Johnson is a retired staff sergeant and has a mild case of PTSD. He said fireworks can sometimes trigger it.
“One year, I got a bottle rocket thrown at me, and it triggered me. Now to this day, if I know Fourth of July is coming up, I just know what to do to try to get myself away from that,” he said.
Other veterans said they are not affected by the fireworks or the loud sounds.
“It really doesn’t bother me the fireworks sometimes things startle me as a surprise, but I respect those who do have triggers like loud noises and flashing lights,” said Michael Magee.
“Personally, it doesn’t bother me. I’ve been in combat in different situations, and there have been sounds that take you back. As far as Fourth of July, most veterans know that it’s coming and know it’s a celebration so it’s no big issue,” said Michael Gladney, a retired MAJ.
Johnson said while it’s an exciting time to celebrate, be sure to keep fellow veterans in mind.
“So many veterans out their different ways that veterans take fireworks and just be cautious of who you do it around and what neighborhood you do it in. Be safe and have a good Fourth of July.”