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Support the Troops: Tamp Down the Fireworks?

Representative Scott Odenbach (R-31/Spearfish) is calling the Boston University Law Student Government Association “snowflakes” for reminding students after a rough Supreme Court session that the university offers many mental health resources.

So I wonder: will Representative Odenbach call veterans snowflakes for raising concerns of mental distress caused by fireworks? The St. Paul Police Department says it gets a lot of calls from veterans’ families to enforce its citywide ban on fireworks:

St. Paul Police say officers respond to calls about illegal fireworks – many of those calls come from veterans’ families.

“We need to think of the sacrifice our veterans have made for our country and treat them accordingly,” said Sgt. Mike Ernster. “If fireworks cause an emotional or psychological effect on them we need to realize that and not use it around them.”

Sgt. Ernster says not using fireworks in the city isn’t just being a good neighbor, it’s also the law.

“Anything that would explode or shoot into the sky and explode, it’s all illegal,” Ernster said. “This place is a safe place for vets” [Reg Chapman, “Veterans Thankful as St. Paul Police Crack Down on Illegal Fireworks,” WCCO-TV, 2023.06.29].

See? When the federal government rejected Governor Kristi Noem’s recent applications to shoot fireworks at Mount Rushmore, it wasn’t just hugging trees; it was hugging veterans. Without bombs bursting in air, Mount Rushmore is a nice safe space for veterans. Support the troops—don’t blow stuff up!


  1. Dicta 2023-07-02 09:49

    Ive never met a vet shellshocked by fireworks as long as they knew they were coming. (I am a vet with multiple deployments.) Who are these people?

  2. John Tsitrian 2023-07-02 10:03

    FWIW, to whatever extent fireworks evoke memories of the DMZ in ’67 from this old jarhead, it’s actually the smell of the gunpowder that brings it all back to life.

  3. larry kurtz 2023-07-02 10:12

    American superconsumers are spoiled brats.

  4. cibvet 2023-07-02 10:22

    As an actual combat veteran ( not a REMF) I try to avoid the air bursts and smells associated with fire works. I have no need to
    regurgitate the memories of the death and destruction connected to war.

  5. All Mammal 2023-07-02 11:22

    I once called my favorite old hippy, DW to wish him a happy Independence Day. He answered in a whisper and sobbed to me, “No, Sis. It sounds like war”
    It was heartbreaking.

  6. WillyNilly 2023-07-02 12:38

    Since I was a kid I have hated fireworks. I don’t mind the displays if they are quiet but the booming noises frighten me. I have been at displays where small children erupt in screams of fear at the first loud noise. Our pets cower wherever they can find safety. I don’t know why we torment ourselves in this way. I’d like to celebrate the 4th but every year I dread it more. And why are we sending a billion dollars a year to China for this torment?

  7. Arlo Blundt 2023-07-02 12:40

    Cibvet–My Dad was awarded a Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, three Purple Hearts,and three Bronze Stars for combat in the South Pacific. He said he was most proud of his Combat Infantryman’s Badge. He said, “I know I earned that one.” On July 4th he stayed home and went to a movie at night.

  8. Ben Cerwinske 2023-07-02 13:59

    Dicta- I believe that’s the problem here. These are illegal fireworks that these vets aren’t prepared for unlike a fireworks show.

  9. grudznick 2023-07-02 15:15

    Ironically some people, not grudznick, believe the right to blow up fireworks was given to them by the very veterans who are most disturbed by the practice. Those people all need to spend the 4th in Belle, with like minded fellows. And rodeo.

  10. cibvet 2023-07-02 15:30

    Arlo– your Dad was more than right. I am proud of my CIB, but there is always this invalid feeling that it is somewhat tarnished or unmerited because of those who earned and were awarded theirs posthumous…

  11. O 2023-07-02 15:33

    But how else will the military-industrial complex normalize/romanticize its production of death (for profit) without fireworks? I’m half-amazed that the current Supreme Court has not recognized fireworks as guns, protected under the Second Commandment, to be purchased and shot whenever that patriotic feeling grabs you.

  12. John 2023-07-02 15:36

    Arlo, John T, All Mammal, cibvet, — are spot on.
    Many, perhaps most combat vets with time on the two way range could not care a wit about fireworks and much of, perhaps most of the Fourth of July claptrap that pretends to pass for patriotism. Those are my thoughts as I’m not writing for them.

  13. grudznick 2023-07-02 16:04

    Mr. O, you cannot open carry your roman candles the way some fellows sport a Glock.

  14. Tim 2023-07-02 16:56

    Grudz, don’t give the snow queen any ideas, she’ll be suing for open carry of roman candles.

  15. Doug 2023-07-02 18:21

    Odenbach is crazy.

  16. larry kurtz 2023-07-02 19:23

    Spearditch was a nice town once but as long as white guys like Mr. Odenbach can raise money just by being a raving cracker expect the worst.

  17. John 2023-07-02 19:35

    Tim, more threateningly, noem or some NRA lobbyist will convince this radical un-supreme court that laws to fencing the sale of fireworks for a couple weeks of the year are somehow unconstitutional. I’m very surprised that radical crowd haven’t challenged the regulations and licensing for having machine guns, cannons, mortars, howitzers, mines, torpedoes, and other implements from the Founder’s era or subsequent. Lewis and Clark carried a Girandoni 40-shot rapid repeating rifle. Their journals describe frequently giving exhibits of the rifle’s use to the Indians. That would be one basis to challenge magazine capacity laws and constraints on private arms holders of vast firepower — despite the fact that Lewis and Clark were “the government”. These right wing radicals apparently want an armed nation, armed to the teeth – unless of course they are peacefully protesting in front of their homes, or at their conventions or political speeches.

  18. John 2023-07-02 20:14

    A yuge part of patriotism is correctly identifying the right and real threats to the rule of law and a constitutional republic.
    Hint, those largest threats remain internal, paraphrasing Lincoln.
    Of course Russia and China require informed monitoring,; they may go rouge, but their internal challenges likely set themselves up for abject failed nations.
    Fareed Zakaria elaborates on Russia:
    Peter Zeihan reminds us how China moved from the world’s most populous nation to second – all by itself, and continues spirally down its drain:
    (That Rep Johnson set himself up as under-weight pugilist against the strawman China speaks more about Johnson’s hubris and arrogance than his patriotism or foreign policy vision.)

  19. grudznick 2023-07-02 20:24

    Lar, Steerfish still serves a decent bellyful of food.

  20. larry kurtz 2023-07-02 21:52

    Goat stew with road apples is the perfect dish best served cold.

  21. Arlo Blundt 2023-07-02 22:58

    Cibvet–my Dad didn’t think much of medals, I only saw him look at them twice. Of the Distinguished Service Cross he said, “I suppose I should keep it, it was the longest night of my life.” But, the Combat Infantry Mans Badge was different. He kept it on his dresser and when he was part of the honor guard at funerals, he pinned it on his shirt. He was in Honor Guards until he was too frail to crank three rounds into those old bolt action Springfields they used. He felt he was part of a great brotherhood of combat soldiers. He was appalled by the Viet Nam War. “Now we’re
    sending our good men to fight Asians in Asia…..the country’s gone crazy.”

  22. Algebra 2023-07-03 01:25

    Actually desensitization therapy is the best treatment for any phobia or PTSD.. It can be done gradually, for example, a still photograph depicting the trauma (or a firework exploding,) absent any sound, movement or smell, can be viewed while performing relaxing deep breathing exercise, and repeating to yourself “you are here, now, and it’s only a picture.”. When that is no longer distressing, a video with the sound turned off can be used. “You are here now, and its only a video.” Over time, the volume can be turned up. It can take several sessions but eventually, watching a video of a fireworks display is tolerable, and the last step is to experience the real thing,
    Becoming desensitized is better than being miserable for the rest of your life.

  23. jerry 2023-07-03 05:11

    The smell of gunpowder along with rich diesel fumes fresh from the cold motor, still take me back to a place that I work hard to avoid. Scotty needs to take a tour in Ukraine to fully understand his ignorance. I would bet money that a few weeks of either line infantry or dismounted track would change his outlook on veterans dealing with ptsd. To have it is to know it.

  24. John 2023-07-03 07:01

    Scotty and his zealot bonespurs are poster children for why this nation needs conscription. 100%. For those unfit (bonespurs) or unwilling to be in the military – force them into a 24 or 36 month tour with the Peace Corps or Americorps.

  25. Dicta 2023-07-03 10:28

    CIBVET: guess which fat pos dakotafreepress poster has his mustard stain? Probably what I am most proud of.

  26. e platypus onion 2023-07-03 11:27

    John Tsitrian for guv!

  27. jerry 2023-07-03 12:46

    Dicta, you should be proud. You are the 2nd mustard stain I know of. A good friend of mine jumped that jump in 1967, just before I went to the military. He was wounded 3 times before being medevaced to the states. The 173rd Airborne is a tough nut to crack, but for him, Dak To and Hill 875, was too much. Me, I was leg infantry, no wings, just a grunt. I am the most proud of the CIB though and remember that I’ve never been that thirsty since then, when that was earned. I too cannot stand the fireworks. The smell and red color remind me of harrowing times.

  28. All Mammal 2023-07-03 14:13

    Gentlemen-I always like when you drop tidbits of your experiences. Its been an honor and I hope this firework season sails as smoothly as possible with longer bouts of calm and peace than past years. Your stories are valuable history and they’re worth a whole lot to me so thank you for sharing.

  29. P. Aitch 2023-07-03 15:19

    All Mammal: Your hope for calm is worthy and it’s fully agreed with, here. However, sales of fireworks are up $100 million so far this year. Glad my windows and sliding doors are thick and nearly soundproof due to living in a downtown urban setting.

  30. cibvet 2023-07-03 18:24

    I recall a lot of REMFs scrambling in 67 to make that jump and as soon as the jump was over,
    they all went back to the safety of their barracks while we continued to slog for search and destroy.
    No action, just hurry back to complete their paperwork to increase their chance for promotions.
    There were some very good officers, but they fought along side and earned their combat wings and CIB.

  31. Dicta 2023-07-05 14:23

    I served in the ranger regiment and was enlisted. We buried two our first night in. I’m no REMF. It feels like you are trying to take shots at my service. If so, feel free to share your information and we can discuss it in person, if you like.

  32. cibvet 2023-07-05 16:08

    I have no power to correct how you feel nor have anything I said referred to you. I am proud of my wings, but we would back up to the pay window to collect jump pay because it was basically free money as all was required was to jump out of an airplane. By contrast,we earned out combat pay every damn day, so the CIB is the most important to me and anyone who has one certainly deserves it.

  33. Dicta 2023-07-05 16:13

    I have a CAB as I was an FO, but all my fellow rangers at that time have CIBs, you arrogant douche. And the jump was into a damn combat zone.

  34. P. Aitch 2023-07-05 16:25

    Dicta. Are you OKAY? The man said nothing he said referred to you.

  35. Dicta 2023-07-05 16:33

    I can’y STAND troops who trash the service of other soldiers, even if it isnt me. And notice how he went from tough guy to social worker when confronted. Ive met people like him before and they are terrible. I’d challenge him further, but Im afraid when might return to discussions on feelings.

  36. P. Aitch 2023-07-05 16:36

    Don’t examine feelings? 🤔 Why not?

  37. Dicta 2023-07-05 16:53

    Missing the point there, Aitch, but continue if being intentionally obtuse is your thing.

  38. jerry 2023-07-05 16:54

    This thread is the most honest depiction of PTSD ever. It’s pretty clear that fireworks and all things related to them, sometimes bring our plight to light. For all of you that have served, thanks from a fellow vet who tries each day to understand all we went through. I was as a grunt with D Co., 2/1 Inf. 196th Light Infantry Brigade. May we all find peace with one another.

  39. Dicta 2023-07-05 16:57

    Thank you, Jerry. I can’t fathom mocking a person who enlisted, knowing what that possibly meant. But every unit has some dumb gatekeeper, I guess.

  40. P. Aitch 2023-07-05 17:34

    I’ve got the point but continue to insult people who’re asking about your mental health, if that’s your salve.

  41. Dicta 2023-07-05 17:44

    He’s certainly not asking about mental health, don’t be disingenuous. He used it to deflect from the crappy things he said. Why are you jumping in for him like you’re his mother. He’s a tough guy with a CIB. Let him justify his bs.

  42. P. Aitch 2023-07-05 17:50

    You wouldn’t ask if you weren’t subconsciously reaching out. I’m no shrink but I know what a brother needs.

    When former military choose not to discuss their feelings, it can have both short-term and long-term effects on their well-being and relationships. Here are a few possible outcomes:

    1. Increased stress and emotional burden: Holding in emotions or suppressing them can lead to high levels of stress and emotional tension. Over time, this may affect mental health and contribute to anxiety, depression, or other emotional difficulties.

    2. Strained relationships: The inability or unwillingness to open up emotionally can strain relationships with partners, family members, or friends. Communication breakdowns may occur, leading to misunderstandings, unresolved conflicts, and feelings of disconnection.

    3. Limited personal growth and self-awareness: Exploring and understanding our emotions is an essential part of personal growth and self-awareness. When men avoid discussing their feelings, they may miss out on opportunities for self-reflection, growth, and gaining a deeper understanding of their own needs and desires.

    4. Difficulty forming deep, intimate relationships: Emotional openness and vulnerability are critical aspects of building deep and intimate connections with others. By not discussing their feelings, men may face challenges in establishing these types of relationships, which in turn can impact their personal happiness and sense of fulfillment.

    5. Impact on physical health: There can be a connection between emotional well-being and physical health. Unresolved emotional issues can sometimes manifest as physical symptoms such as headaches, digestive problems, or fatigue.

    It’s important to note that these outcomes are not exclusive to military men but can apply to anyone who chooses not to discuss their feelings.
    Communication and emotional openness are vital components of maintaining healthy relationships and overall well-being.

  43. Dicta 2023-07-05 17:56

    Man, are you two dating? Your desperation to cover for him approaches sad. Is this a “Notice me, senpai” thing?

  44. Dicta 2023-07-05 18:04

    Some of you are so sanctimonious that you feel you can say whatever you want about people you don’t like and still be a moral lighthouse. You’re like evangelicals in that way.

  45. larry kurtz 2023-07-06 14:49

    At his Faceberg page Mr. Odenbach says he wants to protect the Black Hills from lithium miners not to save the planet but to thwart the Green New Deal.

  46. jerry 2023-07-06 16:09

    Interesting Mr. Kurtz, always about oil in one way or another. Vietnam was no different. Alot of the discussion above, including my own, has to do with this country and the war there. Surprise surprise, it was about oil.

    “In 1964, after Vietnam was divided into North and South, and the
    contrived Gulf of Tonkin incident had given the OLIGARCH OILMEN
    justification to make war on the VietCong, several U.S. aircraft carriers were
    stationed offshore of Vietnam and the ‘war’ was started. Every day, jet
    planes would take off from the carriers, bomb locations in North and
    South Vietnam, and then using normal military procedure when returning
    would dump their unsafe or unused bombs in the ocean before landing back
    on the carriers. Safe ordnance drop zones were designated for this
    purpose away from the carriers.

    Even close-up observers would only notice many small explosions
    occurring daily in the waters of the South China Sea and thought it was
    only part of the ‘war.’ The U.S. Navy carriers had begun Operation
    Linebacker One, and Standard Oil had begun its ten year oil survey of
    the seabed off of Vietnam. And the Vietnamese, Chinese and everybody
    else around, including the Americans, were none the wiser. The oil
    survey hardly cost Standard Oil a nickel, the U.S. taxpayers paid for it.”

    So squatty Odenbach is just another in a long line of grifters, sucking the marrow from the bones of US taxpayers.

  47. larry kurtz 2023-07-06 16:24

    Exactly. Record global high temperatures for days in a row hasten the End Times when those with guns kill those without guns.

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