Why Fireworks on 4th of July aren't the Same Anymore - Unprocessed Jess

It’s our first 4th of July to watch fireworks from our boat this year. The girls were excited and we grabbed our life jackets and headed out onto the lake.

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We went to the parade yesterday and saluted our veterans as they passed in their patriotic floats and golf carts. Pride and gratitude filled my heart as tears trickle from my eyes.


I couldn’t help but think of my brother who I lost in late February.  You can read more about that here and here.

He was a veteran who suffered from combat PTSD.

These last months have been heartbreaking to put it lightly. Our family is leaning on God, each other, and wonderful friends and family who have shown an unbelievable amount of love for us during this time.

So we begin to watch the fireworks high up in the sky and suddenly the fun turns into sadness.


I wanted to enjoy this time and for my girls to celebrate so I kept the feelings to myself.

Soon after returning to the house my 12 year old runs up to me with tear streaming down her cheeks. I ask her what’s wrong.

She said she remembers how her uncle didn’t like fireworks and she misses him. My heart aches all over again. We stand sobbing in our kitchen as other fireworks from around the lake continue to fill the sky above the trees.

I never thought about fireworks and how they affected our veterans until my brother’s experience with combat PTSD. You see…I’ve never been to war or lived in fear of bombs going off or shots being fired around me.

My brother has been to war and did feel that way.

I can never thank our veterans enough. I can help in my own way and appreciate the freedom they’ve fought and are still fighting (and dying) for the best I can.

If you know a veteran who is in need of assistance, please tell them about Camp Hope. My brother was looking into this place after being told by a friend. www.ptsdusa.org

They provide interim housing for our Wounded Warriors, veterans, and their families suffering from combat PTSD.

Green Zone Housing is a local organization helping veterans “because thanks isn’t enough.”  You can find more information at www.greenzonehousing.com or on their Facebook page: @GreenZoneHousing

Here’s their story:

By giving veterans the opportunity to manage the transformation of their own home –

a container pod that will be converted into a living unit equipped with running water, air conditioning, bathroom facilities, and electricity –

Green Zone Housing provides an opportunity to teach valuable skills and instill pride of ownership.

Is there something you do about fireworks for veterans or in place of them for the fourth of July?


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