Thieves targeting firework signs of Navy veteran suffering from PTSD

She’s not looking for much, just a little sensitivity during July 4 celebrations in Bristol, Rhode Island.

Instead of sensitivity, Navy veteran Maegan Antunes says someone is stealing the signs she’s placed in front of her home.

Antunes tells NBC 10 News she developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after her third deployment on an aircraft carrier, and said the signs are intended to raise awareness about unintended consequences associated with Fourth of July fireworks.

“Being on a Navy ship, you don’t really think you’re going to see what everyone else is seeing on land for the ones in the military that are actually on land fighting,” she said. “What we witnessed at that time was not a normal thing we expected would happen.”

In preparation for July 4, Antunes placed a sign outside of her home that reads, “Military veteran lives here. Please be courteous with fireworks.” She tells NBC 10 News fireworks can trigger anxiety — especially when they’re unexpected.

“Give me a heads up, or invite me. That’s all I ask for,” Antunes says.

The vet says the first sign went missing — then another. She also says her military veteran license plate was stolen from the front of her car.

“It’s truly outrageous that someone would do that to this young woman,” Linda Guevremont, who lives across the street, tells NBC 10 News.

“Honestly, I’m just speechless,” said Antunes.

A police report has been filed, and Bristol police tells NBC 10 News they’re investigating.

Antunes now has a third sign, but she hasn’t decided whether or not she should put it up.

She said she doesn’t want to stop people from using fireworks, but wants people to think about those who may not find them fun when they’re heard unexpectedly.

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  • Jim Verchio is a staff writer for Popular Military. As a retired Air Force Public Affairs craftsman, Jim has served at all levels. From staff writer to Editor-In-Chief, he has more than 30 years experience covering military topics in print and broadcast from the CONUS to Afghanistan. He is also a two time recipient of the DoD’s prestigious Thomas Jefferson Award for journalism excellence.

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