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Unexpected fireworks could trigger flashbacks for veterans

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Independence Day fireworks are fun for many, but for some veterans, they can trigger PTSD.

It's good to remember that for a lot of America's veterans, fireworks can bring back haunting memories of their service.

Many veterans say it's not always the fireworks on the Fourth that affect them the most. It's actually the unexpected ones that are lit before and after the holiday.

Roger Metz is a former Marine who says he's hit the ground before after hearing an unexpected firework explosion. 

"I see the RPG coming, I see the smoke trail," Marine Veteran Roger Metz said. "I see the hand grenade rolling across the ground and praying please keep rolling. So when I hear the loud explosions it's like my life is right there."

An unexpected explosion can bring a veteran back to a war zone mindset. If they know a fireworks show is coming, they can prepare.

Some veterans post signs outside their homes asking neighbors to be courteous with their use of fireworks.

"Know the vets in your neighborhood," veteran Gordon Soderberg said. "Say, 'Hey, are you going to be around the Fourth? We're planning on blowing some stuff up, is that cool with you?' And vets are not going to stop anybody from celebrating the Fourth of July. I guarantee you that."

In Wisconsin, it's illegal to set off home fireworks. If you're caught,  you could be fined hundreds of dollars. 

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