VA Volunteer Discusses Veteran Holiday Concerns

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- As people all around the country prepare to celebrate our freedom, some who fought for it are concerned about what memories may be triggered by the holiday festivities.

Dr. John Ginger worked at the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks for a number of years and now volunteers his time there.

He said some veterans who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder may be affected by the loud noises associated with the Fourth of July.

Sounds like explosions from fireworks can be detrimental to those veterans.

“Being around gunfire or very stressful situations will kind of precipitate them into a crisis response and can set them back for some time weeks and has to come back into therapy again," Ginger said.

PTSD is not something that can be cured with just a few therapy sessions.

Ginger said these crisis responses include memories of shooting and destruction during their time in military services.

He gave some advice to any veteran who may be concerned with any Independence Day events.

“Since it’s a mental traumatic problem that they are having, often times it hits them unexpectedly," Ginger said. "So recognizing that potential problems can arise, they can avoid those situations which makes them do a lot better.”

The hospital said they do see an increase in the amount of therapy sessions around this time of year.

Ginger said if a veteran finds themselves in one of those crisis responses, they can visit their emergency room and ask for therapy or simply schedule a time for it at a later date.