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CT VA leader highlights fireworks as possible PTSD trigger

As people celebrate the 4th of July, the state Veteran Affairs Commissioner is asking that residents remember the reason for the holiday.  Tom Saadi says the freedom and democracy being celebrated is Americans to enjoy because of the service of men and women in uniform, past and present, going back nearly two and half centuries.
 
With celebrations, a word of caution.  This holiday has been marked with fireworks, but those loud, sudden noises at odd hours can be a trigger for combat-related Post Traumatic Stress and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Saadi says those with Traumatic Brain Injury and those who were victims of military sexual trauma and assault have to deal with invisible injuries every day.  
 
Some veterans have put signs outside their homes asking neighbors to be considerate with fireworks.  He notes that if a veteran knows someone will be setting off these fountains or sparklers, more often than not, it won't be a trigger because it's the unexpected noises that could lead to symptoms.  Two hotlines are being highlighted.  One is for veterans or family members to call if a veteran is in crisis: 800-273-8255.  The other is a combat vet call center, staffed 24-7, connecting veterans to other combat veterans to talk about any number of topics. That number is 877-927-8387.
 
He says connecting veterans and families is an important part of the Department's mission.  He says those hesitant should reach out through hotlines or the Department's app and take that first step for support services.  Saadi says the younger generation of veterans have been using the new mobile app to connect with resources and benefits they've earned.
 
Saadi notes that there are also a number of community based programs federally and state sponsored, including the Vet Center on North Main Street in Danbury.  The Center offers support and discussion groups in a less formal setting than the VA facilities in West Haven or Newington.

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