Veterans with PTSD struggle with fireworks explosions

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combat veteranPORTLAND, Ore. — As the fourth of July arrives, many veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder dread the nights full of explosions.

Kevin Rhoades lives in Colorado. He’s a military veteran who is sometimes jolted out of his sleep at night.

This year he has a sign in his yard reminding his neighbors he’s a combat veteran and asking them to be considerate.

“Late at night whenever you get woke up at two or three in the morning–it brings back your memories and stuff —and that’s my whole point with having the sign…is to get people aware,” Rhoades said.

Dr. Sudip Bose, a PTSD expert who is also an Iraq war veteran, said some vets can’t keep their brains from taking them back into battle.

“You hear the sound of fireworks and for you that amigdula may transport you to memories of summer barbeques, warm wind, joyous memories, whereas for the soldier with PTSD, there’s a dark side and that amigdula can transport you to memories of the battlefield,” Dr. Bose said.

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