CARSON (CBSLA) — Fireworks are a quintessential part of Fourth of July celebrations, but for some men and women who fought for the country whose independence we honor every year, they can trigger symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, including paranoia and anxiety.
“Sounds bother me […] because I don’t like loud noises,” former Marine master sergeant and Vietnam vet Tom Roulier told CBS2 News. “I’m still paranoid if I here like a loud bang or something like that. Sometimes I’ll duck, or I’ll just quickly look around to see where it came from.”
Roulier said that the loud noises don’t bother him if he knows where they’re coming from, but he knows that in his neighborhood in Carson, where fireworks are legal, the pyrotechnics will be flying Wednesday.
To help vets like Roulier, former Marine Art Granado of Merced County in Central California began making lawn signs asking the public to be courteous about setting off fireworks around them.
“The last couple years, it’s been a little hectic for me for the Fourth of July with all the flashing and the sounds and everything else,” Granado told The Merced Sun-Star. “So I thought, ‘This year, I’m gonna do something about it, and so I […] came up with this pattern, basically.”
The red-white-and-blue signs read:
“COMBAT VETERAN LIVES HERE
PLEASE BE COURTEOUS WITH FIREWORKS”
Granado said he reached out to several veterans groups who told him they could use the signs for their members.
Roulier said he would put a sign on his lawn if he had one.
“It’s a very special day for me because of our independence,” said Roulier. “I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t wanna look forward to it, other than the fireworks.”