Letters to the Editor

Veterans and fireworks

As the Independence Day holiday approaches, Phantom Fireworks would like to remind its customers, friends, and all those who use consumer fireworks to be mindful of the fact that some veterans can be startled and upset by the noise of fireworks.

Chelsey Zoldan, M.S. Ed., a licensed clinical mental health counselor and special consultant to Phantom Fireworks, advises that there is the potential for some veterans to be reminded of combat situations when they hear loud fireworks.

Combat veteran Henry Jiminez, on KABB-TV in San Antonio, indicated he found the unexpected blasts to be the worst. He said sometimes, upon hearing the unexpected fireworks blasts, he drops down and puts his hands over his head.

Phantom Fireworks suggests that those who intend to shoot consumer fireworks in a neighborhood should contact their neighbors to let them know what they plan to do so combat veterans who might be affected by the fireworks have the opportunity to take steps to avoid unintended consequences.

Some veterans actually put signs in their front yards asking for consideration from neighbors when using fireworks. They are available at www.militarywithptsd.org/shop/veteran-firework-sign/

Zoldan says giving veterans a heads-up that you will be lighting fireworks seems to be the most helpful. Vets aren’t necessarily scared of or by the noises, but the unexpectedness can trigger unwanted symptoms and distress.

Please enjoy the Independence Day holiday safely, and please show courtesy to those military veterans who served so your freedoms could be protected.

William A. Weimer, vice president, Phantom Fireworks, Youngstown, Ohio