Boom Of Fireworks Bring Bad Memories For Veterans W/ PTSD - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Boom Of Fireworks Bring Bad Memories For Veterans W/ PTSD

Posted: Updated:

QUANTICO, Md. - The fourth can be a tough time for some military veterans suffering from P-T-S-D.
     One vet I spoke with told us how the celebratory booms and blasts -- can actually bring back horrifying memories of combat.


Bombs bursting in air on the Fourth of July.  It's the sound of celebration and pride for countless Americans, but for some combat vets like Frank Van Vliet, the roar of the cannons is anything but a rally cry for revelry.

"Usually I distance myself as far as I can get away from the noise and the explosions and stuff," says Van Vliet.

    
Psychologist, Dr. Kathy Seifert, who specializes in dealing with trauma and violence says "especially if they're combat veterans, the sound, the loud bang or cracking sound can remind them of their combat experience."

Frank describes the feeling, "at first the noise just causes physical reactions. Jerks, twitches, start feeling a little nauseous. The anxiety takes over, and it starts becoming physically and emotionally painful."

Van Vliet is one of more than 5 million Americans living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

After two tours in Vietnam, Frank now helps other vets get back on their feet at the Veterans Support Center in Quantico.

Last Independence Day, the group went to watch the Shorebirds game and catch the fireworks, but the sound and vibration was too much for Frank.  "Went and hid in the bathroom. That didn't work," he says.

So, the 65 year old closed himself off in the bus who drove the group to the game in, and waited until it was all over, but even after all that,Frank says he's going back again this year.

"I mean, I could just not go...but you know, I work here to help the other guys, and this is all part of getting them out of here.  Getting them to do things.  Getting them out in the public," he says.

And that's something to celebrate.

Frank also had some advice for any vets who might feel like the fireworks will make them uneasy this weekend.

Stay sober, keep a clear mind, and if you need to, hang out with another vet who understands what you're going through.

Dr. Seifert says for family and friends to be aware that there might be an issue, but don't harp on it, and enjoy the night.

  • Local NewsDelmarva HeadlinesMore>>

  • Salisbury City Council Hosts Open Forum For Residents

    Salisbury City Council Hosts Open Forum For Residents

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 11:57 PM EDT2014-08-21 03:57:31 GMT
    SALISBURY, Md. - Residents were able to openly discuss topics important to them at the "Coffee With Your Council" event hosted in Downtown Salisbury.More >>
    SALISBURY, Md. - Residents were able to openly discuss topics important to them at the "Coffee With Your Council" event hosted in Downtown Salisbury.More >>
  • Hashtag "X" Campaign Promotes Anti-Texting/Driving

    Hashtag "X" Campaign Promotes Anti Texting/Driving

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 11:49 PM EDT2014-08-21 03:49:25 GMT
    SALISBURY, Md. - A twist on an anti-texting while driving campaign is urging teenagers to combine two things they arguably know best: texting and tweeting - neither done while driving, of course.More >>
    SALISBURY, Md. - A new twist on an "anti-texting while driving" campaign is urging teenagers to combine two things they arguably know better anyone: texting and tweeting - neither done while driving, ofMore >>
  • Man Killed, Grandson Injured In Van Crash

    Man Killed, Grandson Injured In Van Crash

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 11:42 PM EDT2014-08-21 03:42:11 GMT
    FRANKFORD, Del. (AP) - Delaware State Police say a man was killed and his 6-year-old grandson was injured when the van he was driving left the road and hit a tree.More >>
    FRANKFORD, Del. (AP) - Delaware State Police say a man was killed and his 6-year-old grandson was injured when the van he was driving left the road and hit a tree.More >>
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Maryland Man Charged With DUI After Reported .22 BAC

    Maryland Man Charged With DUI After Reported .22 BAC

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 1:21 PM EDT2014-08-20 17:21:15 GMT
    WEST OCEAN CITY, Md. - Police say alcohol was to blame for an early morning hit and run crash. Maryland State Police - Berlin Barrack says with help from Worcester County Sheriff's Office Deputies, they responded to Bowline Lane in West Ocean City for a reported hit and run collision. Once on scene, Troopers and Deputies found that 30-year-old Ryan Orndorff, of Clarksville, Maryland, was driving a 2008 Ford pick-up truck, when he hit another vehicle while trying to park.More >>
    WEST OCEAN CITY, Md. - Police say alcohol was to blame for an early morning hit and run crash. Maryland State Police - Berlin Barrack says with help from Worcester County Sheriff's Office Deputies, they responded to Bowline Lane in West Ocean City for a reported hit and run collision. Once on scene, Troopers and Deputies found that 30-year-old Ryan Orndorff, of Clarksville, Maryland, was driving a 2008 Ford pick-up truck, when he hit another vehicle while trying to park.More >>
  • Homeless Sex Offenders

    Homeless Sex Offenders

    DELAWARE - Individuals featured in this slideshow are NOT wanted. They are sex offenders who have registered with Delaware State Police as homeless. These are public notifications.More >>
    DELAWARE - Individuals featured in this slideshow are NOT wanted. They are sex offenders who have registered with Delaware State Police as homeless. These are public notifications.More >>
  • UPDATE: Delmarva Restaurateur Passes Away On Mission Trip

    UPDATE: Delmarva Restaurateur Passes Away On Mission Trip

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 9:49 PM EDT2014-08-21 01:49:13 GMT
    DELAWARE - A Delaware restaurateur has died while on a mission trip to India. Matt Haley, a James Beard winner, has reportedly died after a motorcycle accident while on a six month mission trip in India
    More >>
    DELAWARE - A Delaware restaurateur has died while on a mission trip to India. Matt Haley, a James Beard winner, has reportedly died after a motorcycle accident while on a six month mission trip through India and Nepal. Governor Jack Markell released the following statement after hearing of Haley's passing. "Carla and I are devastated by the loss of our friend, Matt Haley.
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WMDT. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.