I have always loved the Fourth of July holiday. Growing up in a small town, it was a holiday filled with fun. Parades, swimming, picnics and ending with fireworks, all without the family anxiety and expectations of other holidays.
My views are changing now that I am an Army mom.
I am learning that for many of our military members and veterans the fireworks that top off the Fourth of July celebrations are not a fun ending to a carefree day. The booming sounds of the fireworks sound too much like the bombs and mortar fire of a war zone. The loud booms bring these warriors back to the war zone. Many will go to great lengths to be far from an area hosting a fireworks display.
So many of us with family members in the military have to make changes in the way we lead our lives. While not every soldier or veteran will have the same reaction, it is important for family members to be aware of potential triggers for our service member. The National Center for PTSD website lists helpful information for family members.
If your service member does have a traumatic stress diagnosis Gift From Within, a nonprofit offers help for the person with the diagnosis and the people who love them.