Managing PTSD Triggers During Independence Day Celebrations

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

The American Tradition of celebrating Independence Day brings people together, but the mental health of those who have served in the Armed Forces can suffer due to stress and the reminder of wartime. 

Fireworks, large crowds, bright lights, and certain smells and sounds of explosives can bring back traumatic memories for veterans. Fifteen out of every 100 veterans who served in Vietnam suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). About 30% of Young’s peers in the service will experience PTSD in their lifetime (U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs 2021). 

This holiday season, here are some tips for veterans:

Talk With Your Neighbors

Find out from your neighbors if they plan to light fireworks. This can help with planning ahead to minimize the risk of increased anxiety or panic attacks. If you do not feel comfortable talking with your neighbors, ask a family member to talk to them instead.

Create a Relaxing Environment

Plan ahead of time to figure out what you want to do or have during the holiday. Some ideas include:

  • Sitting in a hard chair or on a flat surface with your back up against the wall. This can make PTSD sufferers feel safer.
  • Create a soothing music playlist or a favorite movie for distraction.
  • Find activities to keep busy, such as a good book or board game
  • Find a deep breathing exercise 
  • Avoid crowds 
  • Acceptance & Gratitude

Don’t be critical of how you may react. Friendly reminders that you are okay, the fireworks are temporary, and you are safe are ways to be good to yourself. 

Veterans and their friends and family are encouraged to call the veterans crisis line if there's a concern about PTSD. PTSD looks different for every person. Some of the signs to look for include, but not limited to, clenching teeth or fists, pacing, shortness of breath, and strong emotional reactions.

For more information, you can reach out to us, where you can schedule a consultation and talk about your counseling needs. 

About Vaughn Greene Funeral Services: For more than 25 years, Vaughn Greene Funeral Services has been providing a ministry of care to Baltimore’s African American community. As a leading local, minority- and family-owned provider, we promise to provide our highest level of service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved ones. For more information about our funeral, cremation, memorial, repast, and grief counseling services, please call us at 410.655.0015 or visit us online at


Leave a comment
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.


Please wait

Previous Posts

Eight Heartfelt Ways to Remember Your Departed Dad this Father’s Day

As Father's Day approaches, remember your departed dad with love and gratitude for the indelible mark he left on your life. Father's Day can be a bittersweet time for those who have lost their dad...

Love Lives On: Eight Creative Ways to Honor Your Loved One’s Legacy

As you honor your loved one’s legacy, you can find healing and purpose through various meaningful gestures. Amid loss, memories flood our hearts and the grief can feel overwhelming. In these chall...

This Memorial Day, Pay Tribute to Departed Veterans with These Seven Heartfelt Suggestions

While most of us think of Memorial Day as the kick-off to summer, it’s actually a time to remember veterans and fallen soldiers. The federal holiday is often celebrated with barbeques and trips to...

It’s Women’s Health Awareness Month: Seven Strategies to Help You Take Charge of Your Health

Celebrate Women's Health Awareness Month with a renewed commitment to fortifying your wellness and resilience. It's Women’s Health Awareness Month, which highlights the importance of women’s healt...

This month we celebrate Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month

The purpose is to raise awareness about the mental health and well-being of parents before, during, and after pregnancy.  Maternal mental health not only impacts parents but the child, as wel...

The Healing Power of Spring: Five Ways Nature Can Ease the Grieving Process

Nature's serene beauty offers a sanctuary for the grieving process to unfold. Amid the pain and sorrow of loss, finding solace becomes essential for healing. Nature can be a gentle yet powerful al...

Springtime Remembrance Events: Seven Heartwarming Ways to Remember A Loved One

Springtime remembrance events offer a time to gather, reflect, and honor cherished memories.           After the long chill of winter, spring ser...

These Seven Heart Health Threats Might Surprise You

The road to longevity is paved with choices that safeguard your heart health. The heart is not just a muscle; it’s the engine that keeps the body running. You may be surprised to learn that many f...

The Rules of Visitation Etiquette: Eight Tips for Being a Polite Funeral Guest

When attending a funeral or memorial service, it's crucial to understand the protocols, including proper visitation etiquette. Funeral visitations and wakes can be emotionally taxing, but they off...

National Craft Month: How Tapping Into Your Creative Side Helps Your Mental Health

March is National Craft Month and studies show a strong connection between our mental health and our creativity. The benefits of crafting range from decreased stress, improved brain productivity,...