Servant Center reminds people fireworks can trigger PTSD for veterans

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — Many are counting down to celebrate the Fourth of July and for some that included buying fireworks. While the tradition is fun for some, it can be harmful to others.

“PTSD is an anxiety disorder. Some veterans have it more severely than others,” said Horace Beck, of The Servant Center, reminding people that the unexpected booming and the popping could send some veterans into a state of shock.

“Loud noises such as firecrackers or gun shot sounds it may stress or trigger the PTSD that they have,” Beck said.

Most times you’ll see yard signs, letting you know a veteran with PTSD is living near your home.

“When the PTSD is triggered it’s fight or flee,” he said.

Beck said the loud noises can cause painful flashbacks.

“Either they’re going to get hurt or someone around them is going to get hurt. Veterans act differently,” he said.

The US Department of Veteran Affairs reports a spike in veteran suicide between the ages of 18 to 34.

“It’s sad it’s sad to know and the suicide rate is kind of high right now and we’d like to get it lower,” Beck said.

This is just one reason people are being asked to be very careful this fourth of July.

The Servant Center said it’s important to alert people he works with right before the holiday.

“This is about to happen so if you want to sit on the porch during this time or not — you can stay in the building,” he said.

Officials said if you have a friend or family member with PTSD it helps to know their triggers, that way you can help them cope. You can also access a veteran crisis phone line for emergencies.

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