Respect those who served by checking in before Independence Day celebrations

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — While we are celebrating our independence this weekend, let’s not forget those who fought for our freedom.

Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder might not enjoy the noise that comes with the holiday.

With every strike of a match or flick of a lighter, combat veterans who suffer from PTSD may be reliving painful memories.

“All your training kicks in,” Retired Marine and professor at Metro State University Dr. Jim Eller said.

Events like Vet Fest in Castle Rock allow veterans to celebrate Independence Day without bringing up trauma they may have endured.

“After you’ve been through gunfire quite a bit, you just block it out,” Eller said. “It could be you are capable of shutting it down. I just shut it down. I’ve seen so many military members take their own lives because situations and stressors.”

But every veteran has a different story. “Me personally, for fireworks, the louder it is the better,” Air Force Master Sgt. reserve Brandon Sheppard said.

The group of veterans at Vet Fest encourage you to check in with your neighbors and friends who served.

“To be cognizant of veterans you have in your neighborhood or that you’re living close to and be respectful. And ask,” Marine Corps Lance Corporal Tim Davis said.

This prevents those who fought for our freedom from being prisoners to past traumatic memories.

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