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With veterans in mind, some MI parks offer fireworks free Fourth

Fireworks over Lansing
Flickr - Betsy Weber
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Fireworks disturb lots of people, notably some combat veterans.

For some veterans, the sound of fireworks brings back disturbing memories. Now, there's an effort to subdue the noisemaking aspects of Fourth of July celebrations.

Whether you live in the city or the country, you’ve probably already noticed people setting off fireworks in anticipation of Independence Day. Not everyone finds this easy to deal with, though.

There’s starting to be a national conversation about how fireworks can affect military veterans. Some service members are coming back from Afghanistan and Iraq and other places with post-traumatic stress disorder, and being in a situation with a lot of sudden, unexpected explosions that sound like gunfire or worse can trigger stressful memories.

There’s a recent column in the Washington Post that talks about how some vets have signs on their lawns asking for “fireworks courtesy” from their neighbors. The reaction to this among former members of the military is mixed. Some appreciate the sentiment, some feel like it caters to the idea that all veterans have post-traumatic stress.

Here in Michigan, there’s another alternative for veterans and non-veterans alike. A number of state parks are offering “fireworks free” celebrations this year.

Current State's Melissa Benmark talks with Lauren DeVol, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Veterans Affairs agency, about how veterans and others can enjoy a quieter Independence Day.

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