This Independence Day many of us will be surrounding ourselves with family and friends while we BBQ and blow stuff up. As a veteran, it’s important to me that we enjoy this day with all we’ve got because it’s exactly what we served for and is a celebration of the American way of life. Now, if you are one of those people who are considering displaying your “combat veteran lives here” sign in the front yard — just stop. More than likely the people who have these signs on their property never fired a shot in anger, let alone heard a mortar drop or stacked bodies, and even if they did these stupid fucking signs are absolutely inappropriate and detrimental to the veteran community.

First of all, it is not society’s responsibility to cater to your needs or feelings, that’s some “I need a safe space” bullshit. It is your responsibility to adjust fire and adapt to society. As a combat veteran who very likely has some form of post-traumatic stress (I’ll deny that up and down but my friends and family all think I do) it infuriates me to no end because the stupid signs are making real combat veterans look like broken down weird assholes — and we are not! The signs and similar crap push us further from society which 1) is not healthy for your psychological health and B) is not what veterans with PTSD want, they want to connect with people.

Yes, PTSD is a serious issue. It’s a daily battle but not one that is particularly difficult in my mind or what most people would think it is. Do I have to stop and make sure the loud stoner neighbor kids aren’t Jihadists coming to kill me and my family during the day on occasion? Yes. Does the sporadic firework snap me into a hyper alert state reflexively? Yes. But I am not going to load up my guns and barricade my front door before crying myself to sleep. I’m not an idiot who has lost touch with reality. Instead I OODA (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act) loop the problem and chill out because I’m not in a combat zone, I’m at home in America and it’s the 4th of July time frame so I am acutely aware that fireworks are going to be set off. Also, those stoner kids don’t have the balls to take me, which is disappointing.

So, fuck off with the stupid signs already. Fireworks sound nothing like the real deal but they do remind me of war and that was some of the most fun fighting moments of my entire life. This 4th of July I’m going to get a little drunk and help my step-son send our own barrage back at the people sending up theirs. I don’t really know what else to say about the subject but I wish you all an amazing 4th of July and I hope you celebrate it in a grand explosive fashion.