Maintain veterans’ PTSD in thoughts on Independence Day
Before this holiday weekend, KATC wants to share two veterans’ perspectives on an iconic part of July 4th: the fireworks.
There are more than 250,000 veterans living in Louisiana, according to Veteran Affairs.
While fireworks may not affect every veteran alike, veteran Deron Santiny says it’s important to remember that the holiday is approaching.
“I expect it, so I am aware,” said Santiny, the co-chair of the Veterans Action Coalition in southwest Louisiana. “But some veterans, depending on their PTSD level and how they learn to deal with it, can be scary or just bring back bad memories.”
Likewise, veteran Jory Camille, Vice President of Veterans Outreach of South Louisiana, agrees.
“When you know it’s July 4th and you know it could trigger you, be with those who were around you before they understood PTSD, understand the reaction you may have to it, and you may help calm down. “Said Camille.
He says that at fireworks events you can see veterans flinching and looking for the source of the fire, but that’s normal given their prior training.
“You might even see them fall to the ground, that’s them, taking cover. That’s just the reaction they were taught, ”added Camille.
Santiny says it’s just an assumption that people who’ve been with the armed forces can’t be anywhere near fireworks.
“It’s more of a stereotype because not everyone who goes into the military sees fighting and not everyone who leaves the military has PTSD,” said Santiny.
He says personally he is proud of the people who celebrate July 4th. He says that’s what he fought for – human freedom.
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