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The not-so-fun side of fireworks

Posted at 2:25 PM, Jul 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-04 15:25:03-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — For some, it's a time of celebration -- but for others, it's the opposite.

"He was bothered by sudden noises and things like that,” said Pat Campbell.

Jim Campbell was a Vietnam veteran and dealt with PTSD. He passed away in October, but as his wife Pat recalls, this time of year for him was rough

"The worst was the fireworks. We always said maybe we should have gone to Canada for a few days every year," said Pat.

The loud booms would trigger that PTSD for Jim, sometimes causing him to take cover.

"It brought back so much terror and fright and just being worried about your own safety," said Pat.

"Most veterans feel it's very important to be able to celebrate the 4th of July but we want to remind people that these veterans are your neighbors and to show compassion when you are utilizing fireworks during this holiday," said Nebraska Senator Carol Blood.

Senator Blood said it's a concern that shouldn't be overlooked as she and others passed out signs for veterans that warned people to be courteous with their fireworks

"If you're the person in the neighborhood that has been doing fireworks all day long in front of this veteran’s home, really think about where you're at, the time of day, and just be courteous," said Senator Blood.

But it's not just veterans -- other groups are also impacted by the sounds.

"We jump at these booms and we know where they're coming from and why they're happening dogs and cats don't so this is a terrifying time for them,” said Pam Wiese with the Nebraska Humane Society.

Wiese said to bring your pets inside, turn on some background noise to drown out the sound, and try and keep them distracted.

"Just giving them a place that feels safe that they can get away from the noise and hopefully calm down a little bit so that it isn't quite so terrifying will help immensely," said Wiese.

Pat hopes people follow the rules like only lighting fireworks during the designed timeframe, which can make the holiday a little more peaceful for some.

"Have fun but don't take it to such an extreme that it affects other people," said Pat.