GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. – Vietnam veteran Bob Uber wants the public to be mindful of combat veterans who view Fourth of July fireworks differently.
Uber said he did not notice his symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) until later on in life long after his 13 months as a combat adviser.
“There were always triggers and the Fourth of July would be an example of that. There still was that vulnerability to crowds of people, loud sounds and for me it was just children in danger,” Uber said.
Depending on the sights and sound of the fireworks display, reactions for veterans can vary.
“All fireworks are not created equal. Some of those have those little whistling sounds I would say, and that is the sound of incoming,” Uber said.
Uber has an organization called “Heal Our Heroes” based in High Point that serves active service men and women and veterans with resources and PTSD rehabilitation.
He said his work with the organization helps him heal as well.
Uber encourages anyone dealing with PTSD to find someone to confide in and take advantage of the several organizations available.
“You know that battle buddy was the best persona person had in combat in the military. You need a civilian battle buddy. You need to find someone else or a small group to get together, to be able to talk about it and find the hope and the connection that you need,” Uber said.