For military personnel suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder returning home, celebrating our nation's independence - the very independence this men and women fight for - is not a joyous occasion.
Instead, it is one of agony and stress.
PTSD symptoms can be aggravated by the sounds of fireworks, along with many other sudden loud noises. These symptoms include flashbacks, stress, insomnia and detachment from people.
In response, signs are being placed in front of veterans' homes across the United States this July 4 saying, "Combat Veteran Lives Here, Please Be Courteous with Fireworks." The signs were distributed from the non-profit organization Military with PTSD. The group has collected donations so members of the military can place these signs near their homes.
The sign makes a gentle reminder for individuals with fireworks that pets are not the only ones who can get spooked and upset by the sounds of explosions coming from the sky.
The group estimates that between 7 and 20 percent of the 2.5 million veterans returning from wars in Afghanistan and Iraq suffer from PTSD.
“Courteous to me means remembering that you are not the only one living in your neighborhood," said Jon Dykes, the veteran who made the first sign. "America celebrates our independence on the 4th of July. Not the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 7th of July. Some fireworks are expected, and that’s OK. I understand; but not 24 hours a day.”