Valley man creates signs to increase PTSD awareness on July 4

"You not only hear it, but then you smell it, and if it is close enough to you, that smell triggers everything else," said Adrian Green.

Iraq war veteran Adrian Green knows first hand how fireworks can effect those with PTSD. Adrian suffers from the disorder and is the President of eThos Ministries, an organization that supports veterans, many who suffer from PTSD.

"I know a guy who was walking through a parking garage, fireworks at a baseball game went off, and he started going 3-5 second rushes between cars, and by the time he realized it, he was balling," said Green.

While big shows can trigger PTSD episodes, he says it's the late night neighborhood celebrations that cause an even bigger problem. Trucksignz owner Eric Schmaltz learned about the PTSD/Fireworks connection through signs he saw on the internet. He decided to make his own designs.

"I said we can do that in our community, we can reach out to those people that just aren't aware that there is even a challenge that veterans have during this time of the year," said Eric M. Smaltz.

Eric's company usually makes signs for the trucking industry. In just one day, his company has received 250 Facebook inquiries, just in the Surprise area. One design identifies where a vet lives, giving neighbors a chance to celebrate appropriately. Another allows non-vets to show support.

"There's nothing more a veteran would appreciate than for us to be celebrating our freedom, our independence, but we have to do it in a respectful manner," said Smaltz.

Eric is offering his sign design free of charge to other signage or printing companies. He hopes the message will go viral, and help ease the stress many veterans feel this time every year. 


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