For many veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the sound of fireworks may trigger painful memories from war.
"It just reminds me of the combat," said David Partee, a 10-year Army veteran, "I have a phobia, it makes me nervous."
He said he noticed loud noises bothered him as soon as he came back from serving six months in Desert Storm.
"War is war and combat is combat. When you're in that and you see death, it has an effect on you," said Partee.
He said he avoids fireworks displays during the Fourth of July, but if he is near them, he tries to cope with the anxiety as best as he can.
"I put my earphones on, and I turn the music on because I have my kids. I still want to be with them, so they can enjoy it," said Partee.
He found comfort at the Coffee Bunker in Tulsa, where other vets dealing with PTSD share similar stories.
"It kind of eases the similarity and some of the things that we struggle with," said Partee.
There will be a fireworks-free celebration on July 4 for vets and their families at the Coffee Bunker. They'll provide free food and entertainment.
It starts at 11 a.m.
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