We’re not too far away from America’s celebrations of independence from my homeland. A time when I still get asked if I am angry about it all being an Englishman haha… I find it difficult to get angry about something that happened 243 years ago and had nothing to do with me. But there’s that.
Its a paid day off work, a time for celebrations and cook out and ice cold beer!! What’s not to love about July 4th!? I cant wait to stuff a few burgers and hotdogs in my face, washed down with some delicious beer!!! However, for some of us, the big Debbie Downer about his time of year also happens to be fireworks. A reminder of times we work hard to forget. A time that brings combat flashbacks, memories and nightmares to the forefront of one’s mind. In the past, I have done what was needed to avoid the evening tradition of fireworks. Gone camping or locking myself away indoors and drinking myself into a deep sleep were my typical favorites. The latter, clearly not being healthy or productive. Yet, to avoid the memories and nightmares I was prepared to do pretty much to avoid the effects of fireworks.
However, I have married a wonderful woman who happens to LOVE fireworks. I have to admit that I really enjoy seeing her face when we have seen them together. Her eyes light up like a Christmas tree, she has an innocence about her when she falls under the spell of them. She has been with me through my PTSD journey. Through some horribly disappointing down times and with me during the successes. There must be a middle ground we can find right? I refuse to let the enemy beat me now I am home. They already took a lot from me, I refuse to let them take even more, especially the enjoyment of my wife.
This is the first year I have bought and will be displaying a sign asking people to be considerate of their neighbor being a combat veteran. I am not for a moment asking my neighbors to avoid enjoying the celebrations. Perhaps just take some time to consider the possible unnecessary and/or excessive usage of them. In the past we have experienced locals letting them off days before the 4th, then days after the 4th. Perhaps get them all done on the 4th!? I don’t know, I just don’t want to be tormented for days on end. I know its not being done out of spite, I just hope the sign gives them an opportunity to learn and be considerate.
I’m also in search of some good headphones to wear on the 4th since we will be going to a wonderful even in my wife’s hometown including a parade and a bonfire. I desperately want to stay for the fireworks and enjoy watching my wife’s pretty face smile as she enjoys them. She has already offered for us to leave before they start but I don’t want that, its appreciated but I want to support her love for them as she has supported my battle with PTSD. Yet, I know that I must be aware in knowing my limitations.
The purpose of my blog today? Hhhhmmm… I think to simply get some things off my chest that have started to bother me as we approach July. Perhaps to bring some awareness to non veterans who may not have known about this issue with combat veterans during this time of celebrations. I certainly don’t want to sound like a party pooper or the July Grinch. Simply looking out for my brothers and asking people to be considerate of those veterans who will undoubtedly be struggling this July 4th.
I will always be my brothers’ keeper
Cheers guys, God bless you all