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Thread: Fireworks, PTSD, "all vets"

  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    Fireworks, PTSD, "all vets"

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    so I'm not really looking for a debate per se, just seemed it would be best put in this section because who knows, peoples' opinions on this could vary strongly. That's why I'm inquiring, wondering about what other people think about this. I've seen something on social media lately that I haven't seen in previous years (at least not in my social media contacts), where multiple people on my facebook have posted about fireworks and being courteous about it affecting those with PTSD, namely affecting military members. Interestingly enough, all those that posted were not affiliated with the military in anyway (not members or wives or family members etc). I actually have very few military affiliated people on my facebook. Of course people need to be aware of this as it is an issue with many people being sensitive to noise within the realms of their PTSD as many people don't think about this.

    But the manner of the postings seems to be all inclusive and using absolutes in the wordings, such as "soldiers who have returned home cannot handle fireworks" or "those who served are triggered by fireworks" instead of "those with PTSD can be sensitive to these types of noises." The latter seems more appropriate, the former 2 phrasings (the ones being used) seem to indicated EVERY military member suffers from noise triggering PTSD. Now 2 thoughts come to mind. 1. This is of course not true. but also 2. With this particular tidbit it isn't necessarily hurting anything. I guess if people think all vets are sensitive to noise it doesn't do any harm. Better to assume all than to assume none. But some recent postings by the group Ranger Up (if anyone is familiar) about lumping all vets into this category that they are all raging monsters from war and every singly one suffers from PTSD that causes them to abuse people and commit crimes and can't be fully trusted made me sort of think about this. Not exactly the same thing, but it still is a generalization to think that every vet has noise sensitivity, just like it is a stereotype to think every military member becomes a monster after war. And it's actually surprising to see the number of people with no military affiliation who actually think this way! Though the postings I've seen just honed it on the noise aspect, the wording was still presented as an absolute without exception.

    One could argue that every vet has some degree of PTS. Especially if they've seen combat. It changes them. Every human is changed by trauma they've experienced, military or civilian alike. My husband is a different person and reacts to certain things differently after having been deployed several times. But noise is not one of them. Guns, fireworks, crowds. None of this bothers him. He could not do his job if they did. My friend's husband has diagnosed PTSD from his time in combat and has one particular trigger that is moderately severe and he has had to seek treatment for, but it is not noise. My husband is not currently home (boo) so I haven't had the chance to ask him yet, but as I was talking to my friend she asked her husband how he felt about this and he said he understands the need for awareness about this with the 4th of July holiday coming up, but does not appreciate being categorized into the assumption "all vets are the same."

    So... what do you think? When is it awareness, and when is it a stereotype? Just wondering if anyone else had any thoughts.
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    #2
    I do think it's ironic that we celebrate our freedom and independence by blowing up things that send a shit ton of vets into a PTSD attack. It's not all vets, but there are quite a few (especially from Vietnam) that have really severe PTSD. I knew a guy who had to take a tranquilizer every 4th.
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    #3
    DH is odd. He loves to go watch fireworks, loves it even more to set them off himself, but if someone sets off fireworks and he isn't aware or a loud crack of lightening strikes, he jumps. Usually when I have seen this type of requests for warnings, its when people shoot off fireworks at unexpected times (ie not the 4th or Jan. 1), so that those with issues are not taken by surprise.
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    #4
    I do not think all vets are affected/triggered with fireworks/gunshots etc. I don't even think all who have seen combat are. And than I also know that there are those in the military and in civilian life who are triggered and bothered by those without ever being near combat.

    I think it is nice if people want to be courteous of those who do suffer from PTSD, but please don't lump them all the same and all having the same issue because it obviously isn't true (this is a general fyi not meant for anyone here).
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    I'll always remember when I was sixteen, and walking through downtown streets with my bf. He was from Sarajevo, and had grown up with the war in the early 90s. Fireworks went off, but we couldn't see them. He said that he hated not being able to see them, because the sound reminded him of bombs, and gunfight.

    I think it's important to be aware that this can affect people, but it's wrong to lump everybody in the same category. It can affect some, but I'm sure it doesn't affect all.
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    #6
    I dont think it is ok to generalize them all together, but I do think awareness is a good thing. DH, for example, has no form of PTSD what so ever. A cousin of mine does, though. For my cousins sake, I think its important for people to be aware (but more importantly for the person who suffers from PTSD to try to avoid a trigger type setting if possible). But I think DH would be really annoyed if people were treating him that way when he doesnt have PTSD at all.
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    #7
    I think it's a good reminder. I reposted a thing this afternoon about a vet that has yard signs made for those who need them saying "vet lives here please be courteous of your fireworks usage" and I think that is nice and a great way to help make people more aware. Yes isn't all but a general statement at least is putting something out there for people.

    DH is okay with flashy fireworks or fizzy ones but he does not handle the whistling ones and the boom
    Only ones well at all. Two days ago out neighbors were setting off the ones that go up silent and then sound like a cannon and that did not go over well at all DH lost it. The lack of warning really is the biggest part of what gets to him. If he is setting them
    Off and knows what the are/do he is fine normally and watching them expecting them he normally does alright but the week of them before and after the 4tg being randomly set off those do not ever go over well.

    I spent the 4th one year with two soldiers and a marine all with PTSD triggers. It was a very long night. LM slept the whole time and I was trying to calm down and refocus three grown men. Never ever again.

    This year we are going up to my in laws and their city has a ban on all fireworks so we are going to have a nice quiet relaxing day.
    Last edited by Never a *Just*; 07-02-2014 at 04:08 PM. Reason: Seriously. Between my phone and focus I am murdering the English language. Lol
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by *Buttercup* View Post

    This year we are going up to my in laws and their city has a ban on all fireworks so we are going to have a nice quiet relaxing day.
    Just...be prepared in case, okay? I used to live a City that banned fireworks, but that didn't stop people from lighting them off, especially firecrakers. Actually...I now live in a state that bans them unless a professional, a people still fire them. All the time.
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by HisJuliet View Post
    Just...be prepared in case, okay? I used to live a City that banned fireworks, but that didn't stop people from lighting them off, especially firecrakers. Actually...I now live in a state that bans them unless a professional, a people still fire them. All the time.

    Oh for sure. It's just the next town and state over and people still do in the city sometimes though Washington is VERY strict about it. But this is the one time I am grateful my In Laws live 10 minutes out of town up a gigantic hill on 15 acres covered in trees with ZERO neighbors (minus deer and sheep and chickens lol) within 30 miles.
    Reduces the chances by a TON which is good because my FIL is a combat vet as well and does not do well with fireworks either.
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by *Buttercup* View Post
    Oh for sure. It's just the next town and state over and people still do in the city sometimes though Washington is VERY strict about it. But this is the one time I am grateful my In Laws live 10 minutes out of town up a gigantic hill on 15 acres covered in trees with ZERO neighbors (minus deer and sheep and chickens lol) within 30 miles.
    Reduces the chances by a TON which is good because my FIL is a combat vet as well and does not do well with fireworks either.
    Nice! Sounds like a good time!
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