Area veterans sound off about impact of fireworks

Area veterans sound off about impact of fireworks

Amarillo, TX - While the fourth of July is a time for fun and celebration for most, some veterans may not feel the same way.

While some are seeing it as a simple request to be courteous to veterans, others say it may be a direct target.

To most people, the sound of fireworks is the sound of fun and entertainment. But to some veterans, it sparks harsh memories.

Loud noises that sound like gunfire and other explosive blasts can trigger post-traumatic stress disorder.

"Sounds that sound like gunshots that I don't expect can still make me scurry for cover," says Army veteran Dennis McManaman

"No, it really doesn't freak me out, but some people it may," says Army veteran Don Ricks.
"Do loud, unexpected noises bother me? Of course they do," says Army veteran Charles Frenzel.

The U.S. Department of Veteran affairs estimates 11 to 20 percent of military members who have served, suffer from the condition in a given year.

Now, many veterans are alerting the public of their condition by putting up signs, asking neighbors to be respectful with fireworks.
  "I personally would never do it because I feel like it would make me a target or make y home a target. There are some people out there that like to target veterans," says McManaman.

Ricks says he can understand why veterans would see the need to put out the signs. While it's an ongoing battle to make the public aware of the issue, these veterans say they want to focus on the importance of the holiday.

"The 4th of July to me is where we sow that we're free and we're proud of it and you know, we celebrate that," says Ricks.

"Any one of us three old veterans if you said you've got your health back, we're sending you back," says Frenzel. "I'll bet all three of us would be on our way."