Happy Fourth of July
As a child, I looked forward to public fireworks displays and waving the flag and the parades. Today, we have a generation that disrespects the flag, and everyone has their own version of the flag that they display to shout out their political views.
Even as a child fireworks were not lawful in the State of Idaho. Over time, some fireworks became legal. They were to be set off under the supervision of an adult. A moral code of respect for others has disappeared over the years. Setting off fireworks weeks before the fourth and weeks after seems to be the norm. The time which they set them off is around midnight when some people are trying to sleep.
Sleep, to wake up from fireworks for some may not be a problem, but for the veteran who has been in combat, this is not a good thing. Fight, flight, or fright (PTSD) Post-traumatic Syndrome disorder is not fun to play with. I am transported to my youth 60 years earlier to a place and time I had to fight to stay alive and kill or be killed.
Military training sets up muscle memory and reaction time in combat. We have conditioned each soldier to react to kill, destroy the enemy without hesitation. Just an example cadence we would call out “I want to be an Airborne Ranger, I want to go to Viet Nam, I want to kill a Viet Cong,” and they trained us to be killers! We had a license to kill, we were to use it.
Being suddenly waken from the explosion, a trigger for PTSD brings back the very moment time the trauma was first experienced. Being trained in the military you become hypervigilant, you re-live the event as if it just happened. I open my eyes to what happens for the first second at the event; I re-live my combat trauma, my heart is racing and I enter the Zone, ready to fight, kill, and destroy. Then effect for some wear off within 30 seconds, but at this point, you become very angry if not in rage your body and training are in full force. Three minutes later, you realize your present time and location and your heart is still racing. Sleep is out of the question for the next several hours if you’re lucky.
I know it is a lot to ask for people to understand. The enjoyment of setting off fireworks saves it for the fourth of July. Respect those who gave you the freedom to celebrate Independence Day a break. We lost friends who gave their lives, someone has wounded and lost some limbs with physical wounds. And there are many more who are wounded deep inside, these wound sometimes never heal.