OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Nebraskans see the 4th of July as a great time to celebrate with food, family, friends and fireworks. For many area veterans, celebratory fireworks can be a source of heightened anxiety for those suffering with PTSD.
In response to this concern, Nebraska Senator Carol Blood will be distributing free yard signs to area Veterans that say "MILITARY VETERAN LIVES HERE, PLEASE BE COURTEOUS WITH FIREWORKS" at the Papillion Hy-Vee Grocery Store located in Shadow Lake Shopping Center at 11650 S. 73rd Street from 10 am to 2 pm. on Thursday, July 2, 2020.
"Unfortunately, the worst outcome of PTSD is suicide and those numbers are increasing amongst Veterans," explained Blood. "The signs are gentle reminders to our neighbors that they may have a veteran living next door and for many the pain of war never dissipates and the sounds of loud fireworks (especially the illegal ones that come across our borders) may cause many area veterans to relive the trauma associated with their PTSD."
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reported that incidences of post-traumatic stress disorder among veteran varies depending on which conflict a service member was involved with.
Senator Blood also noted that District 3 (Western Bellevue and Southeastern Papillion, Nebraska) has the highest percentage per population of veterans in the entire state.
"It's imperative as public servants that we remember that there are many people in our districts who need help but may never reach out to us," Blood said. "Being proactive may help those warriors who are struggling with personal challenges especially when their friends, family or neighbors may not be aware that they are experiencing a difficult time."