"I'm a disabled veteran from Desert Shield and Desert Storm. I really reallyreally need 2 of those signs. one for front yard and one back yard its right against major road. I live Seattle area and every time the Seahawks play football everyone starts shooting off all these fireworks please help.!!!!!!!!!!" This is an email received just today from a veteran affected by Fireworks. It's October and we are still receiving emails like this one daily.
The impact the firework signs had in 2015 was monumental. To see veterans come out and stand together, not ashamed of PTSD, and educating the public of how fireworks affected those with PTSD was absolutely breathtaking. With what started out as a way to help veterans and their families, turned into a opportunity for communities to come together and build bridges between civilians and military veterans across the nation.
As we end the 2015 year, we are still sending out signs to veterans who are still signing up to receive a free "Veteran Lives Here Please be Courteous with Fireworks" yard sign. But as one door closes, another one opens. We are already gearing up for "Explosion of Kindness 2016" Kicking off the first of the signs going out in December in anticipation of New Years Firework Celebrations.
As excited as we are about all of this, we were reminded just how serious of an issue this is when news spread the day after Independence Day that a Army Veteran in Georgia had died by suicide after being triggered by firework celebrations. Military with PTSD immediately connected with the community in Valdosta, GA and donated 200 signs to the community to help raise awareness in honor of Mike's memory. It is our hope to continue to help communities across the nation come together to support not just veterans and raise awareness of the affects that fireworks can have on veterans.
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