Fireworks and PTSD: Being Courteous of Veterans

Have a Fun Day Celebrating while Looking Out for Your Neighbor

July, 2nd

Wednesday is going to be a beautiful day to celebrate the Fourth of July and fireworks are likely to be a common occurrence. While many love the bright flashes, pops and crackles, for some veterans with PTSD, the Fourth can be a difficult time.
Fireworks may trigger distress, traumatic memories and other hard experiences. Here are a few tips on how to be courteous when setting off fireworks during Independence Day!

  1. If a veteran lives in your neighborhood, tell him or her what time you’re planning to set your fireworks off. They may find it less distressing if not caught off guard. Early notice can also give a veteran with PTSD time to make other preparations if necessary.
  2. Be mindful of the time. For instance: fireworks suddenly going off at 2:00 a.m. may jolt awake a person with combat-related PTSD, causing them distress and even potentially causing them to think they’re in danger. 
  3. Remember the laws: fireworks are prohibited within city limits, on all U.S. forest service lands, within county parks and managed recreation areas and at all Fish, Wildlife and Parks fishing access sites. (Novelty fireworks can be used within the city. More information here.)

There are approximately 8,000 veterans in Missoula County and while many probably love fireworks, there are likely others who would appreciate a heads-up!

Have a safe and wonderful Fourth of July!


Planned Fireworks Shows:
  • Missoula Osprey Game – Tuesday, July 3 at 6:35 p.m. (fireworks start after the game)
  • Annual Fireworks Show at the Southgate Mall – Wednesday, July 4 at 7 p.m. (fireworks start at 10:30 p.m.)


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