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U.S. Army veteran talks PTSD amidst Fourth of July fireworks celebrations

Published: Jul. 2, 2021 at 5:23 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Some Fourth of July firework celebrations may be a “trigger” for some veterans with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Rodney Wright, a U.S. Army veteran who served in “Operation Desert Storm,” says fireworks sometimes remind him of being back in combat.

“I served as a combat engineer and my job was to breach obstacles with minefields. We were in the middle of a minefield when artillery started dropping on us and fireworks sound pretty similar to artillery,” Wright said.

Wright says to escape the loud “booms” during the holiday week and weekend, he stays in his basement for a majority of the time.

And Wright wants to make it clear, he’s not asking people to stop shooting off fireworks.

“I served in the military so people can have their freedom to shoot off fireworks, so I don’t expect them to cater to my PTSD,” Wright said.

He says he wants you to be aware that your neighbors may be going through similar PTSD triggers.

“Talk to the veteran to see how severe their PTSD is and if they know that they have PTSD. Just ask them what bothers them and try to alter your festivities to that,” Wright said.

Wright is also the secretary for the Veteran’s Motorcycle Club in Wichita. The club is holding a clothing drive for homeless veterans Saturday, July 3rd at 4714 south Seneca street. The event starts at 7 P.M.

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