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Your veteran neighbors may react differently to hearing fireworks than you this fourth of July.

As we look forward to celebrating the birth of our nation with huge celebrations and gathering with family and friends to throw a couple of burgers on the grill, have a couple of cold ones and shoot off some fireworks, there is a group of people that could be very sensitive to the festivities of this time of the year. During this time of the year we often remind you about your dogs and other pets and their sensitivity to the loud booms and noises that fireworks make. These noises can cause them anxiety along with an urge to run away from the noise but there is also another group that we should be concerned about as well.

As I was talking with a colleague here at the radio station, she brought up another group that are often affected by July 4th fireworks and that group is combat veterans. She opened my eyes about a concern that these veterans have that I never really thought about in the past. As these brave men and women proudly served our country, many during war time, were exposed to some pretty loud and awful sounds that continue to affect them. They are affected by post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) and loud noises can immediately take them back to the time and place they'd most likely like to forget.

We all should know a little about each of our neighbors that we live by and if you have veterans as neighbors and you plan on setting off fireworks in your neighborhood (if you live outside the city limits), you could do the neighborly thing and find another location to set them off or just let them know that you'll be setting them off during a specified time so they'll be alerted to the loud noises.

Then again, if you know your neighbors well and they are a veteran and ok with it, ask them to join your celebration. We want everyone to celebrate the 4th Of July and not cause any undue stress for anyone - our veterans or our pets.

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