"The sensitivity here is that if you know that your next-door neighbor served ... and you're planning to have a fireworks display in your backyard, it's probably the thoughtful thing to do to let them know," she says.
Emotional reactions to loud noises or sounds that bring memories of traumatic events can be very common among veterans and non-veterans, she says. In the most severe cases, where these reactions or memories are strong a recur over time can they amount to a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder.
In either case, she says, the concern is not that a veteran might react violently, but that the fireworks "could send somebody into a very painful, stressful, emotional experience remembering a firefight or a buddy who was killed."
Research findings differ, but an estimated 7% to 20% of the more than 2.5 million veterans and troops who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan are believed to have developed PTSD.
The disorder is characterized by emotionally re-experiencing or remembering traumatic events, the thoughts involuntarily triggered for combat veterans by the sound of an explosion or gunfire, or even certain sights and smells, according to a recent report by the Institute of Medicine.
This can cause a variety of reactions, including altering mood or triggering hyper-vigilance or a need to avoid people and places, the report says.
Combat veterans are not the only sufferers of PTSD, the illness occurs after other types of experiences such as a sexual assault or a car accident.
"Post-traumatic stress disorder is one of the signature injuries of the U.S. conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, but it affects veterans of all eras," the report says.