Veterans ask neighbors to be courteous with fireworks - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Veterans ask neighbors to be courteous with fireworks

LAWTON, Okla._On this holiday we are remembering those who bravely served our country, but as veterans many are left with wounds that no one can see.

 Veterans health issues like PTSD impact more than 300,000 Oklahomans. Across the U.S. signs are popping up that say "Combat Veteran Lives Here Please Be Courteous with Fireworks" including a few right here in Lawton.

Army combat veteran Leon Scheall is one of about a dozen residents that we have found in Comanche County who have the signs at their homes.

 For many veterans it is not about being unpatriotic. It is about having to relive the horrific events witnessed while protecting American freedom.

 "It's not just one or two here or there. It's like the onslaught of fireworks. It seems never to stop," said Scheall.

 Sergeant First Class Scheall served on active duty for 15. He served two tours in Iraq and one Kuwait. He says fireworks sound like gunshots and mortar shells.

"When they go off you can feel the concussions from them and it causes you to clam up and it causes you to go back to places you don't want to," he said.

Scheall says when he was overseas he lost two of his friends in an attack.

"Here we are people getting burnt smoke inhalation and everything else watching this vehicle just basically melt to the ground. Thinking our friends are in there and they are dead," he said.

He returned from his last deployment in 2012. Since then he battles PTSD on a daily basis once he even ran outside of his house with a gun because of a nightmare.

"I've done that thinking the house was blowing up and going running outside with my gun in my hand thinking I am right back over there,” he said.

He is asking citizens to think of veterans like him because each one is different and no one may know what they have gone through.

"What may bother some person may not bother somebody else. They don't know. It would be one thing if they just went up and said hey you know we are going to be blowing off some fireworks here. Just to give you a heads up," he said.

Scheall says his family is also planning to use the sign during New Year’s when fireworks are also being shot off. The signs are free to veterans and their families.

They can be found at www.militarywithptsd.org

You must show proof of your military service to have a sign sent to you.

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