IRVING -- For most folks, the 4th of July means celebrating with fireworks -- lots of fireworks -- but not for vets who suffer with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
“Sometimes, you see some behavior where they may be scared, may be frightened, agitated, or just very insecure,” Carrick Brain Centers Dr. Brandon Brock said.
This holiday -- with large crowds and loud noises -- that trigger the effects of PTSD in soldiers who’ve come under enemy fire. One non profit group, militarywithptsd.org, is trying to raise awareness by giving out signs that aim to help these heroes.
“My whole point with having the sign is to get people aware,” veteran Kevin Rhodes said.
Rhodes is one of 2,500 combat vets who have put signs in their front yards. Almost 1,000 more are on the waiting list to receive the signs.
“We also like to celebrate with fireworks, but as a veteran who has been in combat with loud explosions, it's something to be cautious about.”
Jonathan Hill has seen his fair share of action after 21 years in the U.S. Army, his first 4th of July back home sparked anxiety.
“We had bought some large industrial type fire works and the first one that went off, I almost joined my dog underneath the truck because it scared me," Hill said.
Hill`s advice for vets who might not be prepared for their reaction to fireworks is to take it slow, avoid the crowds, or just celebrate at home.
“If you don`t want to watch them, don`t watch them; there's nothing wrong with that. I mean we know your heart is in it to celebrate, just know your limits and be careful.”