Being mindful of veterans with PTSD while setting off fireworks

WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

For many, fireworks are a fun part of their Independence Day celebrations. For some, the loud noises can bring back difficult memories. 

"We got indirect fire all of the time in a lot of places that we were at. That's kind of the trigger back to that," said Wichita Veteran James Valentine. 

Valentine spent more than a decade in the Army. After 15 years, he was medically discharged. 

He now faces the battle of PTSD and said hearing fireworks shot off can bring back memories of his days in combat. 

It's easier when he knows when to expect the fireworks, the issues set in when random fireworks are shot off outside of the designated times. 

One of the best way to help those struggling with PTSD during the fourth of July is to follow firework guidelines.

"At least that gives me some sense of I guess, maybe control," said Valentine, "We're just aware because it's the off guard stuff, two or three in the morning, and someone's firing off illegal mortar shells five blocks down the road."

Valentine said he fought so that Americans could have the freedom to live and celebrate. 

He tells others struggling with PTDS to seperate themselves from the noise and to get help from local resources if needed.

"Try not to get too wrapped around about the noises, try to find something like a designated area where they can't shoot that stuff off."

If you're suffering from PTSD and need help, click here to contact Veteran Affairs.

Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have pictures to share with us? Email them to news@kake.com.

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