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For military veterans with PTSD, 4th of July fireworks can trigger symptoms

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SARASOTA, Fla.-- After two tours of duty in Iraq, Bryan Jacobs suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD.

"I have triggers," said Jacobs. "As you grow outside the military, you realize what those triggers are and you learn how to deal with them."

He's reminded by one of those triggers each year in July, the sound of unexpected fireworks.

"I could feel the impact of the boom it was so close," said Jacobs, "and that can be jarring."

It's a feeling he shares with thousands of Americans. One in five of the 2.5 million veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan have been diagnosed with PTSD, and experts say the sound of fireworks can trigger those symptoms.

"Your blood pressure starts to pump, your eyes are wide open," said Jacobs. "You hear more clearly. It's really weird how your body reacts."

For Jacobs, the most important thing is creating a safe environment for yourself and taking the time to enjoy the holiday our veterans fought to defend.

"We fought for these freedoms," said Jacobs. "We fought for the ability for this holiday to happen, so this is something important for veterans to celebrate as well."

For a full list of resources available to veterans coping with PTSD click here