Hunkering down tonight, as I do this day every year since returning home

Another Independence Day…..another day dreading the fireworks displays. The local news where I currently find myself, says that this years display will be “the largest and loudest yet”……the onlookers will be “able to feel the explosions reverberate in their bodies”. These will be taking place less than a half a mile from where I’m staying. Yay.
At The Swash Zone, somebody puts to words what I haven’t yet.

For many years, our country has proudly embraced our heritage of blowing shit up by scheduling an annual celebration of gunpowder and explosions. 

However, as more veterans return from the battlefield scarred with wounds they may never recover from, both physical and psychic, the media is finally noting something that some of us noted some years ago: perhaps some of our veterans don’t appreciate random explosions in their neighborhood. 

It’s a fairly simple equation, one that I can attest to myself, but only to an extremely limited extent. (My older son, returned from far too many tours in Afghanistan, struggles with PTSD every day.) 

There is something about being in a high-stress environment, and having no warning as to when a loud noise might mean the death of a friend or a companion. Or worse, the knowledge that you, yourself, might never hear the last echo dying away, as you do the same yourself. 

There are many reasons to oppose fireworks, especially here in New Mexico. Hundreds and thousands of acres of land are destroyed every year, homes are destroyed and people are killed, because of wildfires here in the Southwest, many of them caused by unregulated use of fireworks. But there’s another fact that the American people are finally realizing. 

In honoring our nation’s history, you are, perhaps inadvertently, harming our nation’s veterans. 

Way to support the troops, America.

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