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Fireworks Also Affect Vets In Michigan.

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The bigger the show, the better: That’s how many feel about fireworks on the Fourth of July. But not everyone will be setting out the blankets and lawn chairs this holiday weekend.


For veterans, the loud noises can trigger post-traumatic stress disorder and bring back horrifying memories of war.


“If it’s an organized display, I don’t have too much of a problem with that. There’s some people around here that will throw those great big ones up in the air and go ‘boom!’ That will be bring back some memories,” Rod VanOeveren, who was a sergeant in the U.S. Marines Corps, said.

(An undated courtesy photo of Rod VanOeveren serving in Vietnam in the Marine Corps.)


Tuesday marked 50 years to the day since VanOeveren went overseas to serve in the Vietnam War.


Though never officially diagnosed with PTSD, he admits, the war still stings all these years later.


“I do have some baggage that I carry. There’s certain things that kind of trip the switch. Sound of a helicopter. The smell of a fire,” he said.


And, of course, loud explosions, like from fireworks.


Local veterans advocates say there are many veterans who don’t mind fireworks, but others can’t handle them at all.


“I talked to one today who said he’s going to close his windows, turn up his stereo and shut out the world until it’s over,” said Catherine Kooyers, a local veterans advocate.


To help veterans, one group in Indiana is shipping yard signs all over the U.S. as the holiday weekend approaches.

(Courtesy image of a sign encouraging people to consider local veterans before setting off fireworks.)


They read, “Combat veteran lives here. Please be courteous with fireworks.”


They are a simple reminder to talk with your neighbors before letting the fireworks fly.


“Are you doing the veterans a service or a disservice? Get to know your neighbors, find out what they’re comfortable with,” Kooyers said.


If you’d like one of those signs for yourself or a family member, or to donate so a veteran can get one for free, you can go to MilitarywithPTSD.org.

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12 state parks offer fireworks-free Fourth of July celebrations for vets with PTSD

By Jake Neher • 23 hours ago



Veterans who prefer a quieter Fourth of July weekend can find fireworks-free celebrations at a dozen state parks between now and Sunday.


Park officials say the idea for the events came from conversations with veterans. They say the sound of loud fireworks can trigger distressing memories for many vets – especially those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).


“The reality is, if you’ve served in a combat zone or you’ve been around weapons-grade munitions, the fireworks sound exactly like a mortar round going off around your head. And, for a lot of guys, that’s just difficult to deal with,” said state Sen. David Knezek (D-Dearborn Heights), who served two tours of duty in Iraq as a marine.


Knezek is applauding state park officials for the move.


“While certainly no one’s going around asking for any special treatment, I just think it’s a really kind and considerate way to pay tribute to those veterans who helped fight for our freedom and allow them to enjoy Independence Day just as much as everybody else,” he said.


Here is a list of participating state parks:


Bewabic State Park (Iron County)


Brighton Recreation Area-Bishop Lake Campground (Livingston County)


Cheboygan State Park (Cheboygan County)


Craig Lake State Park (Baraga County)


Hayes State Park (Lenawee County)


Lake Hudson State Park (Lenawee County)


Leelanau State Park (Leelanau County)


Menominee River State Recreation Area (Dickinson County)


Orchard Beach State Park (Manistee County)


Rifle River Recreation Area (Ogemaw County)


Sleepy Hollow State Park (Clinton County)


Wells State Park (Menominee County)

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Any state park I have ever been to says no fire works allowed!  as far as I know no state parks allow fire works in Michigan!


I have been to many camping and I have never been in one that allows it!


I think it is a great idea and I have to say I dont like the noise either, and when they blow off the big ones they are loud, and of course we have the idiots that just love to throw m80 or 100's all night long, and the hill billys that blast their rifles out the front doors at midnite!


Happy Quiet Independence Day to Our Vets!


and lets not forget our pets!



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  • 5 years later...

Finally moved from words to action. Fireworks, in my opinion, are one of the most senseless inventions of mankind. Yes, maybe it's beautiful. But at the same time it is unenvironmentally friendly, noisy, dangerous and expensive. Why such sacrifices for the sake of 3 seconds of pleasure? I hope that one day the authorities will pass a law that will completely ban the sale of fireworks

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