Remember veterans this fourth of July

Mustang is known for its love of fireworks, and for being one of the few cities where residents are allowed to pop their own, but the love of the loud boom may not be shared by everyone.
Mustang councilman Brian Grider is asking for residents to remember the brave men and women who have served our country this Fourth of July.
The former soldiers may suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and for those who do, the noisy fireworks may trigger memories of times they wish to forget.
Grider, Ward III councilman, began creating signs for combat veterans’ yards in the community last year after speaking with a veteran who mentioned the fireworks being difficult for him to be around.
The veteran even told Grider that sometimes he and his wife left town during Mustang’s fourth of July celebrations because it was so difficult for him to handle.
Other veterans and family members, who wish to remain anonymous, agree that it’s not uncommon for veterans to avoid the holiday they fought in the name of to escape the noise and stress that comes along with that.
One veteran said it’s not necessarily the sound itself, but the unexpectedness of it that gets to him.
Grider said he wanted the signs to not only identify veterans’ homes, but also to encourage residents to get to know their neighbors.
“My whole thought behind it, I feel like everybody has gotten busy with life and everything and a lot of people aren’t very neighborly anymore,” Grider previously said.
He also said that he didn’t think people did it intentionally, but if they knew their neighbors more, they may be more considerate about how the fireworks may affect different people in different ways.
“It’s a great way to be respectful of your neighbors. Everybody loves fireworks and enjoys fireworks, but I think if anybody knew their neighbors struggled because of them, they would feel bad about it if they were doing it without ever having any kind of conversation with them. It’s a good opportunity to just talk to your neighbors and get to know more about them in general.”
Grider said he’s not out to change Mustang’s rules on fireworks, just to look out for everyone in the community.
“I absolutely love fireworks and I’m completely in support of our city having fireworks. This is just an opportunity to help our veterans,” Grider said.
“If you see one of these signs, take a few minutes to stop and meet one of your neighbors and thank them for their service,” he said.
The signs read, “Combat Veteran Lives Here. Please Be Courteous With Fireworks.”
The signs aren’t just through Grider this year, but through the City of Mustang. They are available to pick up at Mustang City Hall and the Mustang Community Center.
“Last year I had a bunch of them in my truck and I was able to take them to them as well, but I just haven’t been able to do that this year,” Grider said.
Similar signs began rising in popularity two years ago because of a Facebook-launched nonprofit, Military with PTSD.
Military with PTSD offers some tips to help veterans cope with fireworks, including inviting veterans to watch the fireworks show with you so the noise isn’t as much of a surprise, talking with them, practicing relaxation techniques, and having headphones, music or other distractions ready.

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