Fireworks can trigger flashbacks for military veterans


JOPLIN, Mo. — Fireworks are a big entertainment source right now.

But for others, such as military veterans, it can trigger a flashback to their time in combat.

Local veterans say homeowners should check with their neighbors to make sure everyone is okay.

Roger Koch, Military Liaison, Ozark Center V.I.P. Program, said, “Letting somebody know, that’s the biggest thing, that’s the key factor, bring it to their attention, if you have a neighbor nearby that you know is a veteran, if you have a family member that’s a veteran, just let them know, it’s the unknowing that possibly triggers the veteran most.”

Patrick Kelly, Military Liaison, Ozark Center V.I.P. Program, said, “Really the stuff that can’t be controlled like your Saturn Missile Batteries that like to tip over, your bottle rockets that fly everywhere, those run more of a risk of maybe hitting that individual’s house and that can cause a bigger problem if you have some, or even if artillery shell tips over and fires an artillery shell at that person’s from door, that’s going to seem more like an attack.”

Kelly says he always sets off fireworks himself, and that way he can see where it’s going and when it’s going to explode.

He says it’s more traumatic when something goes off behind him that he can’t see is most startling.

Sometimes a veteran may not even realize they have P.T.S.D. until they attend a fireworks display.

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