Fireworks season should include call for common courtesy for vets, crime survivors

It's a celebration of the birth of a nation. But the bombs bursting in air represent the war, the fight that led America to freedom.

Dr. Veronica Sites, is a trauma specialist and is a veteran, herself.

Every crack and boom in the air Can trigger post-traumatic stress for a war veteran who lives in your neighborhood. It can take them back to that moment when the trauma happened in battle.

"Muscle memory, the trauma, everything is as if it is, right now, the brain goes into survival mode, there is a disconnect of where they are in time, space, and reality. And so somebody can actually jump and take cover."

Large crowds in the neighborhood, along with the sights and sounds of the fire in the sky can put them into crisis mode.

"There are many things that for combat veterans come to the surface," she said. "Crowds can incite hypervigilance, depending on their role in the military that means constantly being on alert. Surveillance, situational awareness."

Some veterans can be hit with panic attacks. While it's important to honor the fact that your neighbor is a veteran who can be set off by the fireworks, veterans can also take steps to guard against the trauma.

"If sound is a big thing, the headphones that block sound are often used and it is actually something that is useful and is practical, and a lot of people do that for many different reasons so it's not like you're standing out in a crowd," she said. "It's something you're doing to protect and defend what could trigger."

Even if you're not a veteran - but a survivor of gun violence, this can be a serious trigger too.

"If they were in proximity, if they were a part of, surviving victim of crime, whatever that is, then hearing the sounds," said Sites. "PTS is very absorbing into the brain, it locks and loads and then it's like a DVR money and it could be triggered by a smell, sight, sound, a feeling."

Sometime that situation awareness is for the people setting off the fireworks. Find out who could be affected and limit the backyard show so it's not going into the late night.