For some veterans, fireworks aren't a celebration

3:51 PM, Jul 5, 2013   |    comments
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BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - The noises associated with fireworks are often reminiscent of the sights and sounds of war. While many choose to watch one of the many Fourth of July displays, 63-year-old David Root of Bloomington heads indoors.

"About 8:30 p.m., I head to the theater," said Root. "I go to a theater and watch a movie, stay there until about 11:00. I don't hear anything. I just watch a movie."

David enlisted in the Army as a teenager. He became assigned to helicopter units in Vietnam in 1968. The Vietnam War gave him medals for courage and a mindset of pain. He suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.

"I flew in a med-evac for sixteen months and I think I saw an awful lot of guys die," said Root. "At one point, I was very suicidal and probably, had I owned a gun, I wouldn't be here."

Minnesota veterans can get help, as David Root did, at the VA Medical Center, which has a top-notch program for PTSD sufferers.

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