The following article was written by Beth Dalbey, on staff with The Patch. It contains valuable information about PTSI and campsites in Michigan that offer fireworks-free camping for the 4th of July for vets. Read the entire article here.
The Fourth of July holiday is still a month and a half away, but it’s not too early for the Michigan’s 660,000 to reserve spots at one of several state parks honoring veterans with fireworks-free Independence Day celebrations.
Parks selected for the July 3-5 Fireworks-Free Fourth of July Celebrations are secluded and far away from urban urban areas that offer loud displays and boisterous celebrations, and offer ideal camping opportunities for those who prefer a quieter celebration.
Veterans, especially those with a post-traumatic stress injury, have complained in the past that July 4 fireworks, make them feel like they’re in a war zone.
One in five veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress injury, according to a news release from Michigan’s Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Natural Resources, which are teaming to present the fireworks-free celebrations.
Sometimes known as post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSI is a condition that can occur after a person has been through a traumatic event. Even when removed from the stressful situation, similar sounds or experiences can trigger intense feelings of fear, stress, anger or sadness.
Nationally, about 12 percent of all U.S. veterans have been diagnosed with PTSI / PTSD.
The idea for the fireworks-free celebrations came from a local veteran, who said the fireworks and other loud revelry could bring up distressing memories of military experiences among veterans, according to the release.
“PTSI is a normal reaction to abnormal circumstances and it can affect anyone, and an event like the Fireworks-Free Fourth is a great alternative when celebrating our nation’s freedom,” said MVAA Director Jeff Barnes.
The following parks this year are celebrating without loud fireworks:
For camping reservations at these and other parks, visit MIdnrreservations.com. All regular camping fees, including a Recreation Passport, available for $11. Veterans with a 100-percent disabled veteran license plate are exempt from the Recreation Passport requirement.
The state says it can’t guarantee that no fireworks will be set off in the vicinity of state parks, but they’re far enough away from urban areas, or that fountain fireworks, sparklers and ground spinners will not be setoff in the campgrounds. The DNR is encouraging campers to refrain from setting off fireworks in participating Fireworks-Free Fourth state parks during this special weekend in honor of veterans.