Unexpected fireworks can be a trigger for vets with PTSD


PORTSMOUTH, Va (WAVY) — When fireworks light up the night sky in the name of freedom, they can sometimes be difficult to handle for those who fight for it. 

Anywhere from 11 to 20 percent of veterans of the post-9/11 Iraq and Afghanistan wars were diagnosed with PTSD, according to an Associated Press report citing data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

While not all veterans are triggered by fireworks, it has become a more common occurrence, Cindy Ramminger, coordinator of the PTSD clinical team at Robley Rex Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Louisville told the Associated Press. 

Tim Charvat, a U.S. Navy veteran who belongs to VFW Post 993 in Portsmouth said he personally isn’t afraid of fireworks, but sudden loud noises do unnerve him.

“Sometimes triggers memories or you know, ‘uh-oh what is going on?'” Charvat said. “As long as the person knows that it is coming. A lot of times they are able to deal with it better.”

Charvat suggests being courteous and think about your neighbors as you celebrate. 

Fireworks are illegal in Hampton Roads. 

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