LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The bombs bursting in air is a sound many of us look forward to on this day celebrating America’s birth.
For those those who served in the military those sounds can be upsetting and hurtful.
CBS 2’s Randy Paige says to many in the military, the sounds of the fireworks sound too much like the real thing.
For soldiers suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD, this day can be filled with pain.
“I’ve seen people shake,” says Curt Webster, “some people actually it make them ill.”
Webster was a Marine who spent 10 years wearing the uniform.And like many combat engineers, in those ten years he experienced bombs, land mind, IED explosions and gunfire.
Webster says he can handle the fireworks shows, but only if he steels himself for the first few explosions. He says it’s the firecrackers and unexpected explosions on the days leading up to the 4th that bother him the most.
“Personally, for me if it’s expected I’m okay with it, it’s the unexpected stuff that just gives you that startle, it’s like fight or flight,” Webster says.
Webster says he has experienced PTSD like many combat veterans.
“PTSD is different for everybody,” he says, “but whatever sets it off I’ve learned to deal with it my own way. Some veterans, once they’re dealing with it it’s really hard for them to come down.”
So for tonight’s fireworks, and future shows, Webster says you might consider keeping an eye out for anyone who could use a gesture or a helping hand.
“Just take a second and be human. Ask are you okay? And that usually starts a conversation,” Webster says.