Veterans ask for courtesy when it comes to fireworks

Altoona, Pa. - A group of veteran's in Blair County have reached out to local law enforcement, asking them to crack down on illegal fireworks. 
 
With the July 4h holiday, the veteran's say these fireworks are the source of harm for those dealing with PTSD. Ron Heller is a Vietnam Veteran and explained what it's like in the moment a firework goes off in his neighborhood. He explained, "It's like your heart stops beating for a second. In an instant you are looking for cover. To hide, or to fight back."
 
The group of veterans spoke to police from Altoona, Bellwood and Logan township about the need for a firework crackdown. It's a busy holiday for law enforcement so they're asking the community to take local veteran's into consideration before they set off fireworks.
 
Iraq War Veteran Nick Frick explained, "With the community's support in which they all support our vets and being proactive in supporting them this time. Not firing off fireworks will help them reach post traumatic growth and have a positive outcome."
 
The group says that they can plan for the fireworks coming from local groups with permits like the Altoona Curve and Delgrosso's, but when they are illegally used in the neighborhoods, it can catch them off guard. 
 
Heller explained,"I've heard fireworks go off, a block away from my house and i heard the thump coming out of the tube. Which, in combat, the North Vietnamese had mortars. You hear that thump and you knew there was a rocket or mortar coming in and going to explode. So, you're looking for cover."
 
In Altoona, the use of illegal fireworks could result in a maximum $1,000 fine or even 90 days in jail. 

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