NewsCovering Colorado


Before lighting up the sky, think of our veterans with PTSD

Posted at 1:43 PM, Jul 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-04 23:36:21-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — While fireworks can be something fun for families, they're not enjoyed by all. For some veterans, the 4Th of July cause agony and stress.

Military veterans with PTSD, can struggle with the loud booms and lights of a firework show. These noises can even bring them back to the battlefield.

"In severe case they'll hit the deck like they're back in Vietnam or the Gulf," explained Dr. Carl Folkner, a Veteran and Research Psychologist. Dr. Folkner explained to our news partner in Montana, what can often happen when a veteran is triggered by sights and sounds.

"Others will crawl under the covers," he said.

Often the big, planned fireworks shows aren't as damaging because veterans know it's happening. Instead it is the random fireworks shot off in a neighborhood that could be more triggering.

"Fireworks are one of those stressors that can lead to recurring defect from that trauma," said Dr. Robert Connell, with Veterans Affairs. "The sights, sounds, and smells can activate those traumatic memories to come back," he said.

For people who may have veterans living in their neighborhood or living nearby, it's a great idea to check in with them. Also, don't light fireworks at unexpected times, like the early morning hours, or the days after the 4TH of July.

For more information on PTSD treatment, click here.