MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Fireworks season is upon us and it is bringing in a multitude of money and other issues.
Fireworks sales are booming.
The American Pyrotechnic Association expects an all-time high in backyard fireworks due to COVID-19.
“We all know the week before and the week after the Fourth, as the sun sets, you’re going to hear some fireworks,” said Brian Walker, VFW Department of Tennessee Sr. Vice Commander.
But in Memphis, the fireworks have been going for weeks.
Something Walker said most veterans can’t prepare for.
“People can plan to get out of town for a week, a week and a half, a few days, whatever they need to do,” Walker said. “But when fireworks are being shot off a month block, it’s financially hard for someone to try to get out of town for that amount of time.”
Though illegal in most city limits, for many Americans, fireworks are a fun way to celebrate the Fourth.
But for veterans suffering from PTSD, the loud noises can be a trigger, bringing them back to the battlefield, putting them on edge.
17 veterans die by suicide every day in this country, the VA said.
“Situational awareness is key to helping anyone,” Walker said.
Walker said it starts with knowing your neighbors.
“It’s as simple as looking at a sticker on a car: Vietnam Veteran, Iraq war veteran, if they have a combat veteran license plate,” Walker said.
Then, if you plan to shoot fireworks, legally at your home, have a conversation with your neighbors.
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