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Old 06-29-2015, 07:47 PM   #1
CrookedArrow
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Default PTSD vets and fireworks

By no means am I making fun of this, It just skipped my mind how serious this can be. There are signs on some residences asking that people be courteous about exploding fireworks.

The news here ran a segment and that is how I found out. That freakin kills me to think of what these men must go trough.
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Old 06-29-2015, 07:54 PM   #2
Playa
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Really glad you brought this up, never even crossed my mind. We don't do fireworks, but I would be mindful of this if we did.
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Old 06-29-2015, 07:54 PM   #3
J Sweet
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Shell shock and PTSD actually have nothing to do with each other. Generally shell shock goes away quite quickly after not being around artillery or small arms fire.
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Old 06-29-2015, 07:56 PM   #4
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I'm usually a little jumpy at loud sounds when I first get back, but nothing too bad. I suppose some could have problems that are more serious, but nobody that I have personally known or heard of to that degree. If it was that bad, I'd put on double hearing protection and stay inside.
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Old 06-29-2015, 08:04 PM   #5
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Camp Evans(Phong Dien) was a large U.S. base off Highway 1 halfway between Hue City(and Camp Eagle at Phu Bai)and Trang Tri City...the Northern-most City in South Vietnam, just short of the DMV... all in I Corp, the Northern-most Province of the Four Provinces of South Vietnam...
I had only been settled in with my unit, the 2nd Bn, 7th Cavalry, 1st Air Cavalry Division... for about a month...
Camp Evans was crammed with the 1st Cav and supporting units of all kinds, and many other units also...
It was so big, there was little chance of it getting over-run, but Charlie did test the Green Line Perimeter on a regular basis...
We were fairly comfortable there, at least compared to our Line Companies that lifted off Evans to progressively smaller and smaller LZ's, some that were re-occupied and re-abandoned in about 24 hours...
We were used to nightly Mortar and RPG attacks...but Camp Evans was so large a guy would just listen to the 'Incoming' and decide if it was 'ok' to go try to take a shower anyway...
It really was annoying to have to run out of a shower all wet and run like hell to a bunker!
Anyway...May 19th...here came the usual 122mm Rockets...Whistle-ing In...Then we heard the impact towards the center of the Camp...Then the usual yells from the Div Arty that was next to us...turning their guns toward the A Shau and waiting for confirmation of a return fire mission...Birds Cranking Up...Just the Usual Buzz of Activity.
Then...Sirens, and the Sound of Explosions...
But No More Incoming!?
Then More and More Explosions of different sizes and volumes...the Word quickly spread...The Ammo Dump Was Hit!
The Ammo Dump at Evans was huge! It served not only the 12,000 Man First Cavalry Division but all of our Air Support (227th, 228th) and likely was the primary ammo dump for all smaller units with 20 miles...
Our Line Companies had just been on a mission to the A Shau Valley and had brought back TONS of captured NVA Ammo and Guns...and stored them in the Ammo Dump!
The Dump was heavily Bermed...but still...
It Went On for HOURS...even Days later stuff was still cooking off...
When Large Amounts of Ammo go off...it sometimes create a Fire Ball and Cloud that very much resembles an Atomic Bomb detonation...it went like 3 Miles Up in the Air! THAT scared the poop out of us for a while...eventually due to our fine Basic Training CBR Training...We decided since we were still alive...it was NOT an A-Bomb!
As a lot of the ammo cooked off...Rounds of All Calibers were flying through the air...and obviously Tracers were easy to watch! Large Artillery Rounds were exploding and we were trying to look and still keep our butts down in the dirt...
The Ground Kept Shaking...and once every so often you would feel a specific Impact...some close, and Some Closer...
Some Exploded on Impact...most did not...just depending on what it was...
We were monitoring up to 7-8 different frequencies on our PRC-25's...Division, Brigade, Battalion and 5 Line Companies...Everybody who was Off Camp Evans...wanted to know what the hell was going on! All Incoming Air Traffic was diverted away...they could see us for miles around...
We started getting casualty reports...guys were getting killed just from artillery rounds(not armed) going through the PSP on their bunkers! Not to mention direct hits from rounds...
CS Gas was set off! So Here We Were...Not being allowed to get into the bunkers...because we were supposed to be ready for Charlie and his Sappers to come through the Wire on our side of Camp Evans! So We were wearing our Steel Pots, and Flak Vest, and fully armed, with Ammo dripping off of us...one hand on our on Gas Mask Pouches...trying to get Lower than Snake Poop Everytime We Heard a Whistle Coming Our Direction!
I have to say...ONE of the very worst nights of my 14 Months in RVN...
There were a number of casualties that night...and since I was not one of them...I have been extremely thankful for that and I have many times thought of those who were KIA that night, and yes, grieved for them, and mourned them...and reflected on the Random-ness of such things...and lifted a glass to them...God Bless Them!

Something like 10 Million Pounds of Ammo went up that night...
The next morning in daylight...we found just behind us, not more than 100 feet...a large crater...with a very large artillery shell at the bottom, Un-Exploded!
That was one of the Close Impacts We felt in the dark...
If it had been any closer, if it had detonated, or been some other kind of round that would have detonated...all of my friends and I would have been gone too...
Afterwards...they decided the 'good aiming' had been due to one of the Camp Barbers! The scuttle-butt was that he was an NVA Captain, that he used to walk outside of the Barber Shop, up and down, back and forth, pacing and pacing between Haircuts...
That could all be so much BS...but on the other hand...it was almost always a mistake to underestimate the VC or NVA!
Not just Ammo was destroyed, but dozens and dozens of Helicopters of all sizes were either destoyed or very badly damaged...
It took Weeks just to clean the mess up...and we had very suddenly been made aware of the Uncertainty of Life in A Combat Zone!

IN MEMORY OF ALL THOSE BOYS ON THE WALL !
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Old 06-29-2015, 08:07 PM   #6
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Hooah!!
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Old 06-29-2015, 08:07 PM   #7
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My brother was shot in Iraq in 2008. This year I took him turkey hunting. When we'd hear a gobble or I'd speak while we were being quiet he would jump like you couldn't imagine. The slightest sounds or unexpected noises made him jump. Sad to see how real it is for them even after years of being out of combat.
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Old 06-29-2015, 08:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Shell shock and PTSD actually have nothing to do with each other. Generally shell shock goes away quite quickly after not being around artillery or small arms fire.
By no means am I an expert on any of this. I do believe that it can effect some vets more then others. If I know one was near and he had the sign up, I would have no problem respecting that.
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Old 06-29-2015, 08:12 PM   #9
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My grandfather used to dive under tables when lightening hit according to my grandmother. He did that for decades after the battle of the bulge.
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Old 06-29-2015, 08:12 PM   #10
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Too everyone that is involved in PTSD and the fireworks that are legal to sell and shoot in the state of Texas as long as they are legal to shoot in your area. I hope everything works out for everyone, but fireworks are legal to sell in almost every county of the great state of Texas, but people must follow the county or city rules as to where fireworks can legally be set off this year. If not, they need to be turned in to the authorities, but realize this is a legal retail business that abides by the laws set forth by the state of Texas.
If there is some problems with illegal use of fireworks, than by all mean, report them, but do not come down on people that are legally using the fireworks to celebrate the 4th of July.

And to add to this, I salute and give my utmost respect for any veteran that served our country no matter what war or conflict. They gave the ultimate sacrifice and deserve our utmost respect.
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Old 06-29-2015, 08:15 PM   #11
Uncle Saggy
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Witnessed a few men dive for cover during fireworks when I was a kid...... My dad (WWII Vet) explained it to me
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Old 06-29-2015, 08:17 PM   #12
J Sweet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrookedArrow View Post
By no means am I an expert on any of this. I do believe that it can effect some vets more then others. If I know one was near and he had the sign up, I would have no problem respecting that.
I agree. If I knew I had a neighbor with bad issues is lay low as well. I can tell y'all this, the biggest firework displays you will ever see are held at the large forscom posts. Hood, Bragg, Benning, etc...

Pretty sure they go incident free and hold the largest concentration of vets and active duty. I wouldn't hold back.
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Old 06-29-2015, 08:24 PM   #13
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Keep our brothers in prayer PTSD is a tough thing and some deal with it better that others. And at different levels.
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Old 06-29-2015, 08:35 PM   #14
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Had a HS math teacher that was in Vietnam and had his hooch blown up. He would jump at any loud noise such as a sneeze, and if a book fell of a student's desk he would dive under his desk or fall to the ground. It appeared to cause him serious physical pain as well. When he told us the story at some point in the year, he brought in a tail fin of the missile and his frisbee that was under his bed and had a large hole through it.
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Old 06-29-2015, 08:35 PM   #15
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I just about flew out of bed during New Years this year. Crashed out early and woke up to what I thought was incoming. I don't think it bothers me too much, it's the worst when I'm sleeping and something pops off more so than if I'm already alert and active. There are definitely times when I don't act or react as tough as Id like to when a loud noise happens near me though. Can be embarrassing sometimes. And it Freaks the wife out so I usually just laugh it off
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Old 06-29-2015, 08:37 PM   #16
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I've had 120mm rockets land very close to me, RPG's shot over my head, mortar rounds land around me, various small arms fire heading outbound and inbound at the same time and none of it sounded like a fire cracker or any other firework. I'm not saying that there aren't those that are bothered by it but for me and everyone I know who has been injured, most of whom have lost one or more limbs, it's not at issue.
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Old 06-29-2015, 08:50 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iehooligan11b View Post
I just about flew out of bed during New Years this year. Crashed out early and woke up to what I thought was incoming. I don't think it bothers me too much, it's the worst when I'm sleeping and something pops off more so than if I'm already alert and active. There are definitely times when I don't act or react as tough as Id like to when a loud noise happens near me though. Can be embarrassing sometimes. And it Freaks the wife out so I usually just laugh it off
Nothing to be embarrassed about thank you for your service
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Old 06-30-2015, 01:27 AM   #18
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Our city has their fireworks display at the foot ball stadium 2 blocks from my house. My wife, children and grandchildren enjoy setting on the back porch and watching.

Fireworks have bothered me since Nam so I stay inside and turn the TV up very loud. It doesn't last long and I survive but yes it bothers me greatly. Most ground pounders (grunts) I've known that served in Nam have some issues with loud noises especially if without warning. Some more than others.

I've been laughed at for 45 years for hitting the ground or crawling under something because of loud and sudden noises. To me the big fireworks do sound like mortars, grenades and RPGs and it also looks like a full scale fire fight at night to me.

Those of you that have no issues with it are very lucky. However, I would and will never try to stop someone from celebrating the freedom so many of my brothers died to protect.

To each and everyone, HAPPY 4th of July.

JC
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Old 06-30-2015, 07:45 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoustonHunter View Post
My brother was shot in Iraq in 2008. This year I took him turkey hunting. When we'd hear a gobble or I'd speak while we were being quiet he would jump like you couldn't imagine. The slightest sounds or unexpected noises made him jump. Sad to see how real it is for them even after years of being out of combat.
x2! God Bless our troops and your brother
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Old 06-30-2015, 08:35 AM   #20
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Tends to bother my dad a bit (Vietnam Vet)...so he stays in the house while the grandkids watch people shoot off fireworks on the lake. I really feel for our vets that go through this!
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Old 06-30-2015, 08:36 AM   #21
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Helicopters do that to my wife. She served multiple tours in smoke company. Every time a helicopter flies over she clenched up. Fireworks don't seem to bother her though. They do bother m y horses though so generally try to keep it to a minimum.
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Old 06-30-2015, 08:39 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoustonHunter View Post
My brother was shot in Iraq in 2008. This year I took him turkey hunting. When we'd hear a gobble or I'd speak while we were being quiet he would jump like you couldn't imagine. The slightest sounds or unexpected noises made him jump. Sad to see how real it is for them even after years of being out of combat.
My Grandfather was much the same. He is amazing and suffered very little after effects other than the unexpected noise. It wasn't necessarily the loudness that was the problem, it was the unexpected.
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