This comes up every year, but since 2015 seems to be the year of the butthurt it has blown way out of proportion. Some people are complaining that they are asked to not be American on the most American day of the year and others think that people are being insensitive to veterans with Post Traumatic Stress (PTS). Neither are really the case but no one is listening to the other side, they are all just whining online. It is time for a compromise, and maybe some tough love.
There is a reason why veterans have to ask people to be courteous, it is because some of you are such dickheads that asking you to be courteous to your neighbors isn’t working. The courteous compromise is pretty much the same thing one should do for their civilian neighbors.
Save the fireworks for the Fourth
I know, this seems like a no brainer, but there are still some ass clowns that are lighting them off as soon as the fireworks stands start selling them. I get it, you are young and can’t wait to shoot your load, but if you save it up for the fourth it will be more satisfying. And to the people that were setting off fireworks June 26, you suck.
Explosions might remind be the closest you ever get to a release with a women, but for some vets it is a reminder of the worst day of their life. They can be prepared for a lot of explosions on actual Independence Day but a week or so early will come as a surprise. It is also a surprise for your civilian neighbor who has to get up early the next morning so a loud boom at 10:30 p.m. is disruptive.
Start shooting the off early, end early
The colorful fireworks really need it to be dark for best effect. Everyone knows that. So some of the biggest ones can be saved for later but you can start lighting stuff off at dusk. Or a little after in the time photographers call the “blue hour.” Start blowing shit up then and by the time you get to the good stuff, it will be dark enough to appreciate them.
The benefit of this will be that no one has to hear explosions until 3 a.m. No one wants that. People want to get home after fireworks shows without having to dodge amateur fireworks a block from their house. And after a day of celebrating ‘Merica, people want to get some sleep. There is always someone still lighting them off in the early morning hours, don’t be that guy.
Shoot off all fireworks on the fourth
Going to bed on the fifth is a comforting experience, for veterans and civilians alike. An unexpected loud explosion in the middle of the night is annoying no matter who you are. When there is already a full day of revelry who was holding a stash for the next 48 hours? It is just a needless annoyance and the person who does it is kind of a jackhole.
You have the full day, go nuts, blow your wad and then let the rest of us get some sleep. The person holding out for a couple of days deserves whatever they get. You had your chance to be a decent person, if you get smacked by a triggered vet you had it coming.
These rules of being courteous to vets are also the rules for being courteous to your neighbors, but too many people couldn’t be trusted with that so now it has to be a plea by vets. If you are the reason we have to ask that means you are the reason we can’t have nice things. Good job.
Vet must compromise too
I am one of the lucky ones, explosions on the Fourth don’t bother me anymore. When I first returned I still had a reaction but after a few years of unwinding it has less effect. I did have a bad experience in the states. My idiot brother bought some multiple launcher thing and couldn’t be bothered with safety. The first shot knocked it over and the subsequent shots made it rotate and fire in random directions. One shot passed within a couple of meters of us.
The whoosh of it speeding past my head freaked me out more than actual rocket attacks in Afghanistan. It was that nightmare every military person has of surviving a deployment only to get killed at home. Needless to say it was my last fireworks show with him.
To my fellow vets, I understand the struggle. Well at least for some of you. But the people want to celebrate the freedoms that we defended. Most of those people want to celebrate in a way that we used to enjoy before we put on dogtags. Having one day a year to go nuts really isn’t too much to ask.
I will be the first to say that I am sorry you have to deal with it. It sucks to have to put on noise canceling headphones and blast music or go out of town for a couple of days knowing that even camping in the middle of nowhere there will be some ass clown that will bring bangs. But we put up with a lot of crap for entire years, we can try and embrace the suck for the hours of darkness one day a year.
Don’t be angry at civilians for trying to be Americans. For the love of God they all know that they were not over there. The “you don’t know, you weren’t there” is literally a cliché and we need to stop it. Until these signs came out there was no way to know how close a person lived to a vet. Now that they know, can we really ask a person to not celebrate America? Isn’t telling people how to freely express themselves one of the things we fought against? Instead of getting angry, reach out to any vets you know and talk about how to deal with the day. Who knows, that person might be struggling too.
To be honest, I don’t know of any vet that wants to ban all fireworks, they just want a little common courtesy. Your neighbors want that too. Why not give it to them? Yes, you have the right to light fireworks in any legal way you choose, but that doesn’t mean you have to go overboard. Give your neighbors a break. It will be polite to the civilians and greatly appreciated by some vets.