Michael Black's post of yesterday about the Fourth of July provides a lot of food for thought (and I don't mean typical 4th of July potato salad and apple pie...). One of his remarks particularly keyed into something I read elsewhere.
All the noise—so reminiscent of battle—can be difficult for those folks who have put their lives on the line in places near and far. Veterans with PTSD are particularly vulnerable at this time. A recent article in the Washington Post talks about this, and makes note of a sign that is available from a nonprofit group, Military with PTSD. The sign says: "“Combat veteran lives here, please be courteous with fireworks.”
What a great idea and what a worthy cause!
I actually became aware of the connection between July 4th and PTSD while doing research for my second Silver Rush historical mystery book, Iron Ties. The story takes place over July 4, and some of the characters are Civil War vets. The fireworks, random firing of guns, and celebratory firing of cannons (!!) in Leadville during July 4, 1880, cause some of these fictional characters great consternation and panic. For a very accessible book that explores PTSD and Civil War veterans, I'd recommend Shook over Hell: Post-Traumatic Stress, Vietnam, and the Civil War by Eric T. Dean.
So, if I could just say, be aware, be sensitive, and be grateful for the veterans who have given so much for all of us.
Now, I'm heading over to the Military with PTSD site and contribute to the cause...
Wishing you all a safe and sane 4th of July!