Sparky Boom Boom


This year’s American celebration of burning things and exploding things (known as the fourth of July, or Independence Day) was particularly difficult for those with PTSD. Mainly it was because the “big” shows were canceled, and every single freedom-loving American was thinking the same thing:

“I’ll do my own fireworks show.”

And that’s exactly what happened. Every single American ran their own million dollar lights-in-the-sky show.

Now we’re all broke and we smell like smoke.

Seriously though, if you want proof, look at the INSANE Fireworks over Los Angeles — Drone Footage 2020 And this was in a state where fireworks were illegal. Imagine the states where purchasing and lighting exploding shells was legal.

The minor legal problem became one of massive proportions for the unfortunate few who suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). I heard one man say, “How much money did you burn tonight?!” I read one veteran’s comment on Twitter: “When are those f_____s gonna run out of fireworks???” I heard stories of neighbors having fist fights. Yelling at each other,

“It’s after midnight!”

“It’s a free country!”

Well, if it’s any consolation whatsoever to the sufferer of PTSD, America truly is a free country. And the reason it remains free is because of the soldier who put his or her life on the line for the average citizen. Just think about it, my veteran friend, the average citizen can break the law and shoot off cannons over Los Angeles on account of your bravery, your sacrifice, your selfless devotion. Thank you.

And consider this my citizen friend: you can enjoy the freedom of the ridiculously tame, sparky boom boom, pretend firefight, on account of someone like my veteran friend who endured an actual, real-life, deadly firefight. You should thank that veteran. Saying thanks is the least you could do.

In related news, a friend of mine said her dog, who is too big to fit under her bed, managed to wedge himself under her bed. Her dog was afraid of the incredible amount of fireworks, so he squeezed under to find shelter. To get him out later, she had to lift the bed off of the frightened pooch. Funny story, unless you think of it in comparison with the suffering ex-military who have a similar reaction. They may not hide under the bed, but they do have that sort of anxiety, filling them with a renewed sense of dread.

So, if you’re an average American citizen, you might want to think a little more about that phrase, “It’s a free country.” Maybe you should talk to your veteran neighbors and find out why the country is free. Will you ask? Find out if your neighbor has anxiety on the fourth of July, if so why, and don’t be afraid to ask if there’s anything you can do to help them overcome their anxiety.

It may be fun for you to “‘splode the sparky boom booms”, but for them it could be a bit more serious.

Published by Kurt Gailey

This is where I'm supposed to brag about how I've written seven novels, twelve screenplays, thousands of short stories, four self-help books, and one children's early-reader, but I'd rather stay humble. You can find out about things I've written or follow my barchive (web archive, aka 'blog) at or follow me on twitter @kurt_gailey. I love sports and music and books, so if you're an athlete or in a band or you're a writer, give me a follow and I'll most likely follow you back. I've even been known to promote other people's projects.

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