If you truly love our country and those who fought for it, you need to put down the illegal fireworks.

In a time when simply wearing a mask to protect other members of our community has become a point of debate, it's not likely that concern for our veterans will do anything to stop the illegal firework displays in the Hudson Valley. That's why veterans groups encourage veterans who are suffering from PTSD to speak up. But getting our vets to open up with neighbors about the issue has been a challenge.

While many of us love the thought of 4th of July fireworks, they can be a living nightmare for those who suffer from PTSD. The Marine Corps warns that sudden, loud fireworks routinely trigger flashbacks and strong reactions from those who served in the military.

While many veterans can mentally prepare for planned firework displays in their communities, those unexpected loud explosions in the neighborhood can be seriously traumatic. Veteran advocacy groups have been encouraging vets to post signs explaining the situation in neighborhoods where they live, but many vets are either too proud or embarrassed to draw attention to the issue. Instead, they choose to suffer in silence while neighbors randomly set off loud fireworks.

Veteran advocacy groups suggest if you have a veteran in your neighborhood you should at least warn them ahead of time when your homemade show will be happening. This will give your neighbor time to mentally prepare or at least have the option of leaving their home while you set off your firecrackers.

Celebrating the Fourth of July is a great thing, but let's all remember to honor those who sacrificed so much to keep our country free by showing them a little respect when setting off fireworks.

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