• How Fireworks Affect Veterans with PTSD

    For most Americans, Independence Day is a time for celebration, characterized by fireworks, barbecues, music and entertainment. However, for those veterans affected by PTSD, fireworks can trigger a range of negative reactions - some of which may cause physical and/or mental harm.

    By knowing more about how PTSD affects our veterans, we can take steps to be more mindful of how our actions this Independence Day affects them.

    What is Post-traumatic Stress Disorder?

    Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can develop following a traumatic event that threatens your safety or makes you feel helpless.

    Symptoms of PTSD

    According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), PTSD is usually characterized by three main types of symptoms:

    • Re-experiencing the trauma through intrusive distressing recollections of the event, flashbacks, and nightmares
    • Emotional numbness and avoidance of places, people, and activities that are reminders of the trauma
    • Increased difficulty sleeping and concentrating, feeling jumpy, and being easily irritated and angered

    How You Can Help Veterans Who Have PTSD

    The main treatments for veterans with PTSD include psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of the two.

    This July 4th, we can do our part to be respectful to veterans who have PTSD with some of the following suggestions.

    #1 - Let veterans know if you’re planning a fireworks display.

    If you have a next-door neighbor who happens to be a veteran, you don’t necessarily have to abandon your plans to celebrate. However, the courteous thing to do is let him/her know ahead of time when you plan to set of fireworks.

    #2 - Be specific and deliberate with your time frame.

    Keep in mind that veterans have fought for our country. Hearing unplanned fireworks can bring back painful memories or trigger a negative reaction from a veteran’s time in combat.

    If you plan to use fireworks, plan to be deliberate about the time frame. Let your fellow veterans know so that it won’t come as a complete surprise.

    Be respectful, and avoid setting off fireworks in the middle of the night or during hours when most people would be sleeping.

    #3 - Spread awareness.

    According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, it is estimated that PTSD affects:

    • More than 30 percent of Vietnam veterans
    • As many as 10 percent of Gulf War (Desert Storm) veterans
    • More than 10 percent of veterans of the war in Afghanistan
    • Roughly 20 percent of Iraqi war veterans

    Take the time to talk to the veterans in your community. By keeping open lines of communication, we can gain a better understanding of what our veterans are going through and be more proactive in our approach to celebrating the holidays.

  • 6 NonProfit Organizations That Help Veterans

    Nonprofits do so much to help people in need around the country. Here are several nonprofit organizations that are working hard to provide assistance and support to our nation's veterans - both at home and abroad.

    Learn more about our Opportunities for Veterans to own wheelchair accessible vans.

    Army Combat Helmets assigned to Soldiers participating in the 2009 U.S. Army Reserve Best Warrior Competition sit at the ready during the Urban Warfighting Orientation Course phase of the competition. The competition brought 28 Soldiers and non-commissioned officers from Guam to New Hampshire to Fort McCoy to determine the best of the Army Reserve. The Army Reserve winners will then compete in the Department of the Army competition held later this year at Fort Lee, Va.

    6 Nonprofits Making a Difference in Veterans' Lives

    #1- Veteran Tickets Foundation


    About: Vet Tix provides tickets to events which reduce stress, strengthen family bonds, build life-long memories and encourage service members and veterans to stay engaged with local communities and American life.

    #2 - Soldiers Angels


    About: Soldiers' Angels provides aid and comfort to the men and women of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, their families, and a growing veteran population.

    Thousands of Soldiers' Angels "Angel" volunteers assist veterans, wounded, deployed personnel, and their families in a variety of unique and effective ways.

    #3 - Wounded Warrior Project


    About: The Wounded Warrior Project mission is simple: to honor and empower Wounded Warriors.


    • To raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of injured service members.
    • To help injured service members aid and assist each other.
    • To provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members.

    #4 - Operation Troop Appreciation


    About: Operation Troop Appreciation is dedicated to the active and veteran members of our Armed Forces who serve and sacrifice for our country. By providing them with items that contribute to their morale and well being, we present a united front to our deployed military by supporting them as individuals, for every one of them.

    #5 - Hugs Project Incorporated


    About: Hugs Project Incorporated were the first ones to send cool ties (affectionately nicknamed “hugs” since they go around the neck) to U.S. troops in the Middle East. The nonprofit also sends care packages and other handmade items to our Service Men and Women.

    #6 - Veterans Airlift Command


    About: Veterans Airlift Command (VAC) provides free air transportation to post 9/11 combat wounded and their families for medical and other compassionate purposes through a national network of volunteer aircraft owners and pilots.

    Other, Related Posts:

  • Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan Honored in the Warrior 100K

    veterans of iraq and afghanistanOn a nighttime aerial missions in the valleys of Afghanistan, Juan Carlos Hernandez’s aircraft was hit with a rocket-propelled grenade which injured his lower right leg. The injury was so severe it required a below-the-knee amputation. Juan didn’t let that stop him and resolved himself to not only quickly adapt his prosthesis but also to face the challenge of learning how ride a bike again.

    “Riding my bicycle has dramatically helped me with my walking and my quick recovery; it has not only helped me physically but also mentally,” he says. Through Ride2Recovery, an organization that raises money to support spinning recovery labs and outdoor cycling programs, he has found a community of veterans and others in similar situations.

    veterans of iraq and afghanistan

    This week, Hernandez is teaming up with fourteen other injured veterans for a unique adventure. Monday, the group of servicemen and women hit the trails for the Warrior 100k bike ride with President George W. Bush as part of his Social Enterprise Initiative.

    Through this foundation, President Bush strives to highlight the bravery and strength of those wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. The three day Warrior 100k event consists of a 100 kilometer mountain bike ride where President Bush will ride with the veterans through the Big Bend in the deserts of Texas. It is an effort to honor America’s heroes and highlight the incredible work of military support organizations that find innovative ways to improve their lives.

    We wish the rider’s luck and perseverance! Initiatives like these are wonderful spotlights on the disabled community’s ability to overcome tough circumstances.

  • Handicapped Veterans: NC Parade of Homes

    In the midst of staying busy with work, whether building wheelchair accessible vans, handicap vans, or other handicap accessible home lifts, we’re lucky enough to work with a wide range of veterans and veteran groups in the Raleigh and North Carolina area.

    We really are fortunate that our handicap accessible vans and mobility services bring us in contact with groups that are really making a difference for disabled veterans and their families in our area.

    We have great respect for veterans who have been disabled in combat, and were excited to hear about the projects for disabled veterans that were part of the North Carolina Parade of Homes.  For anyone not familiar with the event, the Parade of Homes is North Carolina’s biggest open house parade, where this year 187 houses were open to the public over the course of two weeks.

    Operation: Coming Home

    One of the homes that opened its doors is the second ‘Hero Home’, homes built by The Triangle Real Estate and Construction Veterans group as part of their “Operation: Coming Home” movement.   The group is a range of military veterans working in construction who work to give something back to disabled veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Hero Home II for Sgt. Roberts

    The Hero Home II was built for Sgt. Roberts, a veteran from Ohio, who has performed three tours of duty in Iraq.  During the third tour, Sgt. Roberts’ unit drove under a bridge where his vehicle was struck by an IED.  Sgt. Roberts lost his leg and experienced traumatic brain damage, but after physical therapy and surgery, is on the road to recovery.  Sgt. Roberts is also now studying for an IT degree.

    Stories like this encourage us and make us proud of our involvement with the Veteran and handicapped community. If you’re curious about the mobility solutions available to you, such as wheelchair accessible vans or lifts, or want to learn more about events like this in North Carolina and Raleigh, get in touch!

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