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Coping with PTSD & Independence Day booms

Posted at 5:29 PM, Jul 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-06 07:03:31-04

TULSA, Okla. — A common complaint made during this time of year by veterans and first responders has to do with fireworks. Some of them dread loud noises because they trigger PTSD symptoms.

An important tip in keeping those with PTSD comfortable during the Fourth of July is to just be there.

Also, give neighbors a heads-up before popping fireworks in the neighborhood. Asking for permission might also show courtesy and care.

Veterans just ask the community to be aware.

“Even stepping on balloons. If you see little balloons and you say, ‘Let's just pop some balloons,’ don’t do that around veterans either. Some vets, when they hear loud popping noises; fireworks sounds, they hear automatic machine gun fire, and it takes them back to a moment when they lost their best friend,” Army veteran Greg Bilbruck said.

Bilbruck also serves as the chaplain for Tulsa’s Coffee Bunker, an organization that directs veterans to help and friendship

A member of the Community Service Council is also on standby through the holiday weekend for any veterans who just need someone to talk with. Peter Luitwieler is the program manager for the Oklahoma Veteran Alliance. His number is (918) 630-1891.

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