Fireworks setting off veterans' PTSD - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Fireworks setting off veterans' PTSD

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(KWWL) -

For many of us, fireworks are apart of how we celebrate our independence, but for many of those who fought for that freedom, fireworks are far from a celebration.

The sound of a bomb and a firework going off are so similar it can send some veterans back to the war zone.

"It really puts you in a position of just waiting. Is something going to happen? What is the next thing I need to do? It goes back to their muscle memory and their training of what to do next. It brings back a lot of memories you don't want to think about all the time," said Black Hawk County's Veteran Affairs Director Kevin Dill.

Memories of being under attack; of not knowing where the enemy is.

Serving 11 years, Black Hawk County Veteran Affairs Director Kevin Dill says even he doesn't celebrate with fireworks.

"We want to celebrate the independence because it is what we fought for, but it does. Especially if you are next door, and you are lighting those fireworks and the firecrackers, that can cause severe problems with PTSD," said Dill.

Although most fireworks are illegal in the state, many people still choose to have personal fireworks. Whatever you choose to do this weekend, stop and think.

"If you neighbor is a veteran, out of respect and it will show a great deal of respect for him or her if you go over and just say, 'Hey, I know you are a veteran. Thank you for your service. Will it bother you if we do some fireworks?' If the veteran says, 'You know it really would.' Then don't do it or go do it some where else," said Dill.


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