Dear Mary Pat,
I dread this time of year. My husband suffers from PTSD and fireworks are really torture for him. The sound is overwhelming and it triggers bad memories of his deployment. My neighbors have a big BBQ next door every year and they start lighting off fireworks at dusk and don’t stop for what feels like hours. I don’t feel right asking them to not light them since it is the 4th of July. I’ve thought about getting out of town, but fireworks are everywhere, not to mention my husband has to work all weekend. I just hate to see him upset. Do you have any suggestions?
Gills Rock, Wis.
Dear Boom Town,
Sadly, I think this is a fairly common occurrence. I don’t think it would hurt to let your neighbors know that this affects your husband greatly. If you have a conversation, maybe you could agree on a set time that they would be having their fireworks so that you could better prepare. You could also look into getting some noise-cancelling headphones. There are also signs available for purchase letting your neighbors know that a combat veteran lives in your home and that they should be aware and courteous when using fireworks.
There are many organizations out there to help our veterans with PTSD. I’m hoping that your husband is already seeking help for his condition. I’m sure his doctor would have good advice for him. In the meantime, here is the link to the site where the signs are available: militarywithptsd.org.