NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Many people will be out enjoying fireworks this Fourth of July, but for some veterans the loud spectacle can trigger some traumatic memories.
PTSD can result from all kinds of trauma, but for many veterans it’s trauma that derives from a war zone.
The smell, the bright blasts and explosions can remind veterans of being fired at, missiles or mortars being launched and experiences on the battlefield.
Scott Cornelius told 22News, “These feelings those sensations, even though they realize they’re in a safe circumstance here in the United States, the body doesn’t know the difference. The nervous system is still responding as if their life is literally in danger. So learning how to be present with those feelings and not be reactive to those is a big piece of the work we do here with veterans that have PTSD.”
Cornelius said that family members can be most helpful by being sensitive to the fact that this can happen, even if you may not be aware of it. If you notice patterns of avoidance, withdrawal or isolation you can try and keep close contact with the person that is struggling to reassure them that they are safe.
On Wednesday morning at 10 the Mayor of Northampton will be at the VA of Central Western Mass. to make a pledge to end veteran homelessness and help veterans get the resources they need.