Letters to the Editor

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FIREWORKS: Consider effects on those with PTSD

Letter by David L. Dittemore, Tacoma on July 1, 2011 at 9:55 am | 61 Comments »
July 1, 2011 10:36 am

I’m probably too late; you’ve probably already bought your fireworks. I should have written this weeks ago.

I’m writing this at 10 p.m. Thursday, and I hear constant fireworks. The Fourth of July is our time to play with fireworks and make noise. We call it patriotism, but I think it’s mostly guy fun.

Consider that we have a lot of veterans in the area who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The fun fireworks you are shooting off are driving them out of their minds if they have post traumatic stress disorder – and many do – even Vietnam vets.

I lost a good friend, and flashbacks caused by fireworks were a big part of the problem. So maybe consider inviting a vet over to your home to share a picnic meal; he might share some of his military experience with you. In the end, that might be a much more patriotic way to spend the Fourth and a better way to support our troops.

(Dittemore is a member of Veterans for Peace.)

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