Veterans with PTSD warn about fireworks triggers - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Veterans with PTSD warn about fireworks triggers

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Fourth of July is almost here and many will be celebrating with fireworks.

But for some Iowans, those unexpected blasts can trigger horrible memories.

Fireworks can be a source of stress for veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, especially if they aren't prepared for them.

Army National Guard Veteran Chad Johnson served 14 years overseas.

"I have triggers with rockets and motors and stuff like that, that put me in flashbacks," said Johnson.

Johnson suffers from PTSD, and holidays like Independence Day can cause stress for him because of the abundance of fireworks.

He says city fireworks don't bother him as much because he knows when they're coming. 

But he can't predict when other people will decide to set them off.

"When it's unexpected and you don't know where it's coming from, that's one of the big triggers," he said.

And those triggers can be absolutely traumatizing.

"We'll take cover and hit the ground, the heart starts racing, and it puts you back in that state of mind," he said.

In light of this problem, the organization "Military With PTSD" has made lawn signs for vets to put in their yards, indicating they have PTSD.

Their website can be found here.

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