GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Independence Day is a celebration for many, but that is not always the case for veterans who have been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Fireworks are a trigger for many veterans because it brings back memories of their time in combat. Tiffany Smith, the Mental Health Clinician for the Green Bay Police Department, says there are three aspects that make them dangerous: the lights, sound, and smell.

According to Smith, the lights and sounds mimic gunfire and explosions while the smell mimics that of gunpowder.

She added, “I think that when somebody goes through combat and experiences trauma, it’s kind of a scary thing to have resurface again.”

Dick Marbes, an Air Force veteran, has worked with many other veterans who have PTSD. As a member of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter 3 in De Pere, Marbes has seen first-hand how they are impacted by the disorder.

“A good example is the Fourth of July. I’ve had gatherings downtown where they shouldn’t probably have been there, but with all these firecrackers, you see some guy diving under a car or something, it’s a nasty situation,” Marbes said.

While there is no cure for PTSD, there are many ways to treat it. Through relaxation and cognitive therapy, veterans can learn ways of coping with their triggers.

“I think working with them to embrace the fact that, ‘This happened, this is going to be part of your life, but how can we work best to manage it,'” Smith explained.

If you or a veteran you know is having PTSD symptoms during the holiday or at any time, please call the Veteran Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and dial 1. You can also text 838255 to start a confidential chat.