Why veterans with PTSD hope you'll be mindful with Fourth of July fireworks
For many Americans, the celebration of Independence Day includes family, food, and fireworks.
But fireworks can cause trauma for those who fought for our freedom.
Vietnam Veteran Roger Rahor said he spends his Fourth of July inside, away from fireworks.
"The Fourth of July is tough for me," Rahor said.
He's a disabled veteran who suffers from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
He spent a year in Vietnam with a transportation company where he was the subject of harassment and attacks.
"They would hit us with rockets and RPGs, mortars, and automatic weapons fire and that was terrible," Rahor said. "At times I thought I would never leave, I thought I would die there."
While old photographs bring back memories, he said fireworks bring back flashbacks of his time in Vietnam.
"It will represent itself by leaping, jumping, whatever, it is truly a startle response," Rahor said.
The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates 15% of Vietnam war veterans suffer from PTSD.
Which is why he wants neighbors to be courteous of those who fought for our freedom.
"If there's someone you don't know what they're background is, try not to hassle them," Rahor said. "If they are reacting to the explosions, you can probably stay away or you can try to comfort them."