For many lighting fireworks early is a chance to celebrate the fourth of July holiday. But for some who fought to keep our country free everyday, it's a painful reminder of what they've had to overcome.
"If someone were to shoot off fireworks on the fourth of March, I would probably have a bigger problem with it but I expecting it. I'm not saying I'm not going to have some sort of physical reaction to it, but as long as it's not coming completely unexpected," said veteran Charles Ayars.
Ayars lives with PTSD, a condition he says is triggered by loud sudden noises or on the fourth of July, fireworks.
"The amygdala in particular. What happens is the amygdala gets overworked in a combat zone and it gets into the habit of its trying to just label anything you see, hear, smell or taste. It's either threat or non-threat. It gets in the habit of any loud sudden noises, it doesn't matter what it really is, your amygdala is telling the rest of your body that's an RPG, that's a mortar, that's an IED," said Ayars.
Ayars says he decided to enlist in the U.S. Army after 9-11. After a few months of training, he was sent overseas to Iraq near Baghdad.
"My platoon had 25 guys, we had two killed in action and 16 received purple hearts," said Ayars.
Ayars was one of those purple heart recipients. He suffered a traumatic brain injury after a car bomb detonated.
"I think I may have went unconscious briefly cause I remember my eyes were open when it happened but my eyes being closed and thinking, oh my, someone just got hurt really bad," said Ayars.
On our Facebook page we noticed many of you pointed out how they could help war veterans during the Independence Day holiday. So, we brought that statement to Ayars. He says the best thing to fix that, is just ask. If you know of a veteran living in your neighborhood, he says to make them aware of your firework plans ahead of time so they aren't caught off guard. By Alyssa Spirato