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Combat Veteran Spreads Awareness About Fireworks and PTSD

Updated: Thursday, July 3 2014, 11:27 AM EDT

A combat veteran spreading awareness about PTSD and fireworks ahead of the Fourth of July Holiday has gone viral on Facebook.

According to the post by Military with PTSD, Jon Dykes served in the Army from January 2000 to October 2010, with the 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry, 3rd Infantry Division as a Cavalry Scout Section Leader in Fort Stewart, Georgia and deployed to Iraq four times in 10 yeras.

His reaction to fireworks last year left him "completely exhausted" and "feeling like he was under attack and back in combat," Military with PTSD said. So he decided to make a sign for his front lawn, alerting neighbors to what he was dealing with.

"Combat veteran lives here, please be courteous with fireworks," the sign reads. The photo of the veteran posted on the Military with PTSD Facebook page went viral with more than 260,000 shares in three days.

Dykes is receiving counseling for his PTSD but struggles with fireworks and says a firework blast can prompt symptoms that last hours, Military with PTSD says.

"Courteous to me means remembering that you are not the only one living in your neighborhood/town/city," Dykes said. "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 okay. I understand. But, not 24 hours a day. PTSD and combat veterans aside, what about the new mothers trying to keep their babies asleep, the elderly couple that doesn’t need another heart attack induced, or the guy that works odd hours and gets sleep whenever he can? Courtesy is just that: remembering that there are other people in this world besides yourself and thinking of them."

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Source: Military with PTSD

Combat Veteran Spreads Awareness About Fireworks and PTSD

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