Fourth of July Not Fun For Some Vets

A fireworks display could bring about unwanted memories of combat, for some veterans.

By Cheryl Hurd
|  Wednesday, Jul 4, 2012  |  Updated 1:16 PM PDT
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Fireworks usually bring about smiles and excitement for many on Independence Day.But for Moh, who is camera shy and just got back from Afganistan six months ago, a fireworks display could bring about unwanted memories of combat.

Fireworks usually bring about smiles and excitement for many on Independence Day.But for Moh, who is camera shy and just got back from Afganistan six months ago, a fireworks display could bring about unwanted memories of combat.

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Fireworks usually bring about smiles and excitement for many on Independence Day.

But for Moh, who is camera shy and declined to give her full name, returned from Afganistan six months ago. For her, a fireworks display could bring about unwanted memories of combat because she says she suffers from PTSD or post traumatic stress disorder.

The bright lights and popping sounds that mimick gunfire might send her over the edge. She says there are triggers that could send her into a deep depression.

She says her best friend was killed right next to her on the battle field in Afghanistan.

It is unknown how many veterans, past or present, suffer from PTSD.

David Adams is a spokesperson for Amvets, a veterans support group in San Francisco.

Instead of heading to a fireworks show, some participate in an art show like the one at the War Memorial building on Van Ness Street and  use their art to help cope with stress triggers like the Fourth of July.

"That’s something you will never get over best thing you can do is learn to cope you might work in the kitchen some people might just want to leave town find solitude," Adams said.

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