I was walking down the sidewalk on the 3rd of July when a loud sound startled me. For a minute I honestly thought it was gunfire, until I remembered that Independence Day was the next day, and someone was setting off fireworks early. It made me think about all the veterans who suffer from PTSD ― post traumatic stress disorder. If a firework scared me that much, I cannot imagine how I would have felt if I immediately connected that sound to real memories of gunfire and explosions.
Is it really fair that the people who fought for our country should be stressed on the 4th of July? I was sitting out on the mall with my friends enjoying a show while so many veterans throughout the city may have been having adrenaline rushes and panicking as the loud noises reminded them of combat. It must be so much worse for homeless veterans who have nowhere to go to buffer the noise.
Many veterans suffer from PTSD. As I continue working at Friendship Place, I will keep this in mind. I hope that the outreach I will be doing will help homeless veterans find a place to live and the help they need for dealing with PTSD. No one should have to suffer on the 4th of July.