As people around the country celebrate Independence Day, experts in East Texas are reminding the community to consider veterans and pets before setting off fireworks.
Most firework displays on the Fourth of July come with bright explosions of light and loud booms, which can bring back certain memories for veterans with PTSD.
That’s why experts suggest talking with veterans in your community to let them know you plan to set them off.
In some cases, veterans may set a sign outside of their home to let their neighbors know how they might be affected.
“Having awareness out there for the public is a good indicator so that your neighbors know what you’re going through and what’s going on,” Tricia Childers, an East Texan who offers signs for veterans, said. “You can appear completely normal on the outside but have something completely different going on on the inside.”
In those situations, moving your firework display to a nearby neighborhood is advised.
For pets, the Fourth of July is the busiest day of the year at shelters.
Many dogs will run and try to hide when they are scared by the loud boom.
Sitting with your pets and making sure they are comforted is an easy way to keep them from running away.
Some veterinarians may even prescribe medication to help dogs stay calm.