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Local campground offers "fireworks-free" Fourth of July for vets

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Posted at 6:38 PM, Jul 03, 2019

LAINGSBURG, Mich. — Fireworks can be anything but festive for veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

One local campground is making sure they have a quiet place to celebrate the Fourth of July.

If you stop and listen at Sleepy Hollow State Park, there is something you won't hear on the Fourth of July, and that's fireworks. This is the fifth year in a row that the DNR has had the "Fireworks-Free Fourth" something that is designed with veterans in mind.

"People want to be patriotic we believe and its an opportunity to celebrate that way but to do it in a way that doesn't involve explosions and dramatic things like that," Parks and Recreation for Michigan DNR Ron Olson said.

The loud bangs and explosive booms are fun for people who enjoy a fireworks show, but they can be triggering to our veterans with PTSD. That's why the DNR teamed up with the Michigan Veteran Affairs Agency to create safe, quiet places for vets to celebrate in peace.

"We've had people call in and ask if this is a firework-free area and we give them the information that it is. They do come here because of it. We have a lot of people just show up and enjoy that there are no fireworks here," Ben Schueller said. Schueller works at Sleepy Hollow State Park and was in also in the National Guard.

The campground will be without fireworks through the weekend and spots are still available. Workers say it's nice to honor those who fought and continue to fight for our country.

"They risked their lives for us, it's nice to have something for them," Schueller said.

"The Fourth of July is more than just having picnics and things like that. This kind of goes back to that. It's the grounding of why we celebrate in the first place," Olson added.

This isn't the only park in the state that is fireworks free on the Fourth of July, click here for a full list.

Several communities have new fireworks laws this year. To see them, click here.

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