SPOKANE, Wash.—Fireworks on the Fourth of July are a familiar sound for many Americans.
For military veterans living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, it can be a different kind of familiar.
John Hancock is the executive director of Warrior Heart to Art, a Spokane group aimed at helping local vets with PTSD.
Hancock said it’s his goal this Fourth of July, and always,is to raise social awareness about the burdens our veterans can bare.
“The awareness of potential danger is what keeps soldiers alive on the battle field. And they're so highly trained and they're good at it. But it's not easy to turn it off when you come home from the war,” said Hancock.
Hancock said there are many different ways the community can make the Fourth of July easier for veterans with PTSD. He said it starts with being aware and understanding what they need.
Some veterans put signs in their yards to let people know they have PTSD. Others do not, so talking with neighbors before starting Fourth of July festivities can make the celebration easier on them.
According to the VA, PTSD affects as many as 20 percent of Iraq veterans. They said everyone’s triggers are unique.