MONROE, LA (7/2/20)– This Fourth of July, thousands will celebrate the sights and sounds of fireworks, but those bright lights and loud noises could leave some veterans suffering from flashbacks.
“Fireworks tend to bring back some non-pleasant memories of combat for some veterans,” said Anthoney Corkern, president of Delta Veterans. “The explosions of the fireworks do tend to sound really close to something like gun fires, or if anyone was around IED explosions, or rocket and mortar attack.”
Anthony Corkern, a war veteran and the president of a non-profit called “Delta Veterans”, says there are some tips for veterans who have post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms that could help make the Fourth of July a little easier.
“Participate in the event, take a little bit of control. Go buy some fireworks, set them off yourself, that way you control what the explosions and events are. If you see people in your neighborhood, go join in,” said Corkern.
Or even finding some battle buddies, Corkern says strength comes in numbers.
“Veterans understand veterans more than anybody else. If you can get a group together through the celebration than it could be a little bit easier,” said Corkern.
More importantly, the community should be aware of and sensitive to veterans who may live on their streets. They’re not asking you not to pop off fireworks, but letting your neighbor know what time you’ll set them off could help with PTSD. Corkern says it’s important to understand war veterans can be both young and old.
“There has been a lot of wars over the past few years. There are a whole lot of combat vets out now that have been exposed to all kinds of explosions and bad situations,” said Corken.
The Chennault Aviation and Military Museum not only offers years of history but also help to our local heroes. They offer PTSD meetings to veterans twice a month. In addition, “Delta Veterans” offers over 80 resources in the state to vets and their families.