Army veteran speaks about holiday fireworks, PTSD

Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 8:11 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Fourth of July weekend brings a lot of fireworks, noise, fun and, for some, flashbacks.

Lee Rollins is a retired Army sniper, and he says to make sure everyone has a great weekend celebrating the USA, it comes down to a simple solution.

“If you know your neighbor is a veteran, I would ask them straightforward. Ask them if fireworks cause any sort of anxiety or short bursts of flashbacks. If they do we just want to let you know we’re setting them off.”

Rollins adds that it works both ways as well.

“For veterans, the signs are one thing. Go out and meet your neighbors.”

The noise and flashes can trigger a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) reaction. Rollins says it’s essential for people to remember that, and it’s important to communicate and get to know your neighbors.

“I hate saying it, but don’t be that guy just puts a sign out there and gets angry about it. Go out there and talk to them. Those may be the people that you lean on one day.”

Rollins says fireworks don’t bother him personally, but he wants to know when they will be fired.

In Columbus, roughly 10% of the population are military veterans. Therefore, the odds are high that you live near a veteran or active duty service member.

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