The 4th of July is a holiday that celebrates America’s independence from Great Britain. The holiday is celebrated with fireworks, cookouts, and friends. If you plan on celebrating the day with veterans, here are some tips:
Many veterans experience PTSD. This condition can be triggered by some 4th of July traditions. If you’re celebrating Independence Day with a veteran, you want to be mindful of these things and avoid them.
Fireworks produce both light and sound. The light can trigger light sensitivity in veterans, especially at night. The loud boom sound of fireworks can also remind veterans of gunfire and cannon fire. Talk to your veteran guests before using fireworks or sparklers at your 4th of July event to make sure they are comfortable with these things. If not, consider replacing fireworks with bubbles, water guns, balloons, or confetti.
Crowds can also activate PTSD in veterans. If you’re hosting a large party or going to a crowded event, confirm with your veteran guests that they are comfortable. If crowds are a trigger for your veteran guest, consider throwing a smaller and more intimate event at home.
Some veterans with PTSD may also struggle with risky behaviors, such as the use of drugs and alcohol. You may want to consider throwing a dry 4th of July party if this is the case. A veteran who is struggling with drug and alcohol abuse may have a hard time celebrating Independence Day at an event with substances.
When you’re hosting your event, be sure to check in on your veteran guest throughout the evening. You want to make sure they feel accommodated and comfortable on Independence Day. You also want them to have a good time, so plan activities that they enjoy. Maybe they like to swim, play backyard games, or grill. Whatever the case may be, you can help your veteran friends and family have a delightful Independence Day this year.
This 4th of July, consider getting involved in a local veterans organization. SRQ Vets is led by local veteran volunteers and serves fellow local veterans. We offer physical, emotional, and mental support to veterans through home improvements, counseling, and more. To get involved, you can make a donation on our website or call 941-777-8387 for more information. We hope you have a Happy 4th of July!