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4th of July: 7 Tips to Help PTS(D) Veterans Cope

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4th of July 7 Tips to Help PTS(D) Veterans Cope.png

It’s no surprise that the 4th of July presents possible triggers for veterans with PTS(D).

Plan, communicate, and cope. These tips will help you through the 4th of July celebrations.

Even though fireworks entertain us, it is not uncommon for the sounds, intense light, or smells to cause distress. Those who have gone through a trauma that included explosions, gunfire, loud noises or fire may be more likely to find fireworks to be a reminder—a trigger or cue—of such past events.Trauma Reminders: Fireworks National Center for PTSD.

  1. Some common coping strategies for veterans include:

  • Get yourself some ear protection: Noise-canceling headphones or earplugs to muffle firework sounds can help. I rely on my headphones. I use them every day; they help me focus. It splits my focus on whatever work I am doing and listening, and there’s little room for my mind to wander into dangerous waters.

    When I go to family events, I have my headphones with me. That way, if things agitate me, I can cover one ear and listen to music, ocean sounds, audiobooks, or YouTube videos. Focusing on listening distracts me from the agitating event or person.

  • Create a calm environment at home by dimming lights and using blackout curtains.

  • Practicing breathing exercises and mindfulness techniques. Check out this link to some YouTube meditation calming videos. If these don’t work for you, search for meditation techniques.

  • Remind yourself you’re safe and the sounds are just fireworks, not explosions; fireworks do not put you in danger; it is triggering for many, so just keep reminding yourself that it’s just fireworks. My 7-year-old nephew illustrated this to me the other day. A bee was flying around, and I heard him keep repeating to himself, “Bees are our friends, bees are our friends.” So come, Fourth of July, I’ll be saying it’s just fireworks, it’s just fireworks.

2. If you want to be away from it all, try camping or renting a cabin in a state or national park. Find a park here.

3. If you’re comfortable ask your neighbors about their plans for fireworks, it can help you know what to expect. Some veterans use yard signs to ask for consideration when shooting off fireworks. Here are some signs you can get from Amazon.

4. Check if your community organizes an “Escape the Fireworks” event. These events, designed for veterans, provide a safe space during the July 4th celebrations. Search Google with the following “Escape the Fireworks” + [your city and state].

5. If you have a therapist, talk to them and have them help you with coping strategies. Remember, you are not alone.

Reach out, I have, and it helped:

Veterans Crisis Chat Line

Call the Veterans Crisis Line at 988, then press 1

Text the Veterans Crisis Line 838255


  • Plan

  • Communicate your need

  • Use coping techniques that work for you

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Founder HadIt.com Veteran To Veteran LLC - Founded Jan 20, 1997


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Time Dedicated to HadIt.com Veterans and my brothers and sisters: 65,700 - 109,500 Hours Over Thirty Years



I am writing my memoirs and would love it if you could help a shipmate out and look at it.

I've had a few challenges, perhaps the same as you. I relate them here to demonstrate that we can learn, overcome, and find purpose in life.

The stories can be harrowing to read; they were challenging to live. Remember that each story taught me something I would need once I found my purpose, and my purpose was and is HadIt.com Veterans.

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