Provide a free yard sign to 2,500 disabled veterans with PTSD that reads "Military veteran lives here. Please be courteous with fireworks," in time for Independence Day. Since we started the project in 2015 we have had a waiting list of thousands of veterans needing a sign. If you would like to sign up for a sign please register at http://www.militarywithptsd.org/involvedwithus/registration/ and check the box Firework sign.
An estimated 7% to 20% of the more than 2.5 million veterans and troops who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan are believed to have developed PTSD. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, loud blasts and flashing lights can sometimes induce panic attacks. PTSD is characterized by emotionally re-experiencing traumatic events. The thoughts are triggered for combat veterans by the sound of an explosion or gunfire, or even certain sights and smells, according to the Institute of Medicine.
This project will remind people a veteran lives in their neighborhood and that if they are planning fireworks on any day other than July 4th, giving a veteran a polite heads-ups would be nice. No veteran who served their country wants anyone to stop celebrating their freedom. It's on the days leading up to and away from the 4th that a heads-up would be helpful.
Combat veterans are not the only sufferers of PTSD; the illness occurs after other types of experiences such as a sexual assault or a car accident. The "Explosion of Kindness" campaign is to educate everyone on the effects of fireworks on veterans and hopefully others who are afflicted with PTSD. Since starting this program, the one constant feedback we continue to hear, is how this yard sign has opened up communication between veterans and their neighbors.