Fireworks are those “bombs bursting in air” that many of us know and love around the fourth of July. But they can be a source of stress for veterans suffering from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) in the aftermath of war.

“Brave men and women go to war, they are on alert 24-7; they see things that you and I may not be able to see in our entire lives,” says Sankar Sewnauth, CEO of CDS Monarch, which runs Warrior Salute, an intensive clinical support program for veterans with PTSD.  “When they come back, they are so wound up and need our help to unwind.”

Sewnauth says for veterans try to cope at home, fireworks are just one of many triggers and simple tasks can become difficult to complete.

“They may not be able to go sit in a restaurant, they may not be able to drive,” he says.

The US Department of Veterans Affairs says of the military personnel who served in Iraq or Afghanistan 11 to 20 percent experience PTSD.  For those who served in the Vietnam-era, that number is even higher at 30 percent.

Veterans with PTSD are encouraged to talk with their counselors if they’re unsure about attending a big fireworks display, and they might support away from gatherings in the company of family and friends.

Some veterans have decided to take matters into their own hands, posting lawn signs that say “please be courteous with the fireworks”

The awareness campaign was started by a group called “Military with PTSD.”

they say their goal isn’t to dampen the fourth of july fun– but to increase awareness.
sankar sewnauth/ceo, cds monarch/warrior salute: i’m not a believer in saying, a veteran lives here put a sign out on the door, we want to actually give them their privacy, respecting them because they are going through a lot of issues.

while see-u-nawt)sewnauth favors privacy, he’s glad the issue is getting attention. if warriors salute has taught him anything, it’s that veterans with p-t-s-d deserve– and need– support, to enjoy the new freedom they fought to protect abroad– at home.

sankar sewnauth/ceo, cds monarch/warrior salute: we have to be patient we have to be understanding.