SOUTH SIOUX CITY, Neb. (KCAU 9) – On Thursday people all over Siouxland will celebrate Independence Day. Fireworks, crowds and sudden loud noises can be a problem for some of those who fought for the freedoms we enjoy.
The fourth is the day that we, as Americans, celebrate our independence and freedoms but, for a lot of Americans, the sights and sounds of those celebrations can bring back difficult memories.
“Sometimes a veteran will have a totally different perspective on the 4th of July or independence day,” said Lt. Chernock.
Lieutenant Chris Chernock of the South Sioux Police Department is an Army veteran. He served from 1976 to 1979 and was stationed in Korea and Fort hood, Texas.
“The guys I was serving with that were still in the army were Vietnam veterans and I had a lot of exposure to guys who struggled with PTSD from that era,” said Chernock.
Chernock said people often forget about veterans, and what they might have gone through when they’re setting off fireworks.
“It’s a small price for us to pay to go to another area to blow up stuff when we have something or someone who has paid a lot higher price sitting at home just trying to get through it,” said Chernock.
“I don’t think about it often but obviously like PTSD and stuff like that can set that kind of stuff off. You want to be cautious of where you are doing it at and be out somewhere in the country,” said Morgan Wenzel, who was buying fireworks.
The Veteran Affairs Clinic recommends knocking on neighbors doors prior to setting off fireworks to make sure no one struggling with PTSD lives nearby.
“It sends them exactly right back to where they were when they first heard that noise that caused them to be the way they are about that for the rest of their life,” said Chernock.
Veterans also say it’s important to remember what and why we celebrate on July fourth.
“Appreciate their honor their service to the United States,” said Mike Julius, who was buying fireworks.
If you are a veteran who is struggling the 24 hour veteran crisis number us 1-800- 237-8255. The Sioux City VA clinic also offers same-day mental health help as well.