Here's how some states are helping veterans, service members escape the sound of fireworks

Abbie Bennett
July 02, 2019 - 10:19 am

U.S. Navy photo by Garrett Zopfi

For some veterans and service members, the Fourth of July holiday can be unpleasant. 

Fireworks are a known trigger for post-traumatic stress and other issues, including hearing sensitivities. Combat veterans are often especially susceptible.

In Minnesota, those veterans and service members now have a way to escape the sights and sounds of the Fourth at state parks.

“Not everyone enjoys the light and sound associated with fireworks, particularly some of our military service members,” said Erika Rivers, state parks and trails director with the Department of Natural Resources. “Minnesota state parks and recreation areas offer a firework-free environment for those who want to celebrate Independence Day in peace and quiet.”

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Donald Hudson

Active-duty military and veterans with service-related disabilities are eligible to receive a free year-round vehicle permit for access to all 75 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas. 

“Providing free access to Minnesota state parks and a quiet environment is just one way to thank current and former members of the military for their service and sacrifice to this great nation,” Rivers said.

A list of especially quiet getaways is included in the summer guide on the Parks and Trails website. For more information, go to or contact the DNR Information Center at or 888-646-6367 (8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday).

In Rhode Island, there will be a quiet fireworks viewing at Beavertail State Park in Jamestown, South Coast Today reported. Viewers will be able to see the show, but not be burdened by the noise because of distance, wind and heavy surf. 

Michigan's Department of Natural Resources and its Veterans Affairs Agency are also providing quiet Fourth of July options, opening up campgrounds for those who want to escape the noise. 

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