Every year on July 4, Americans of all ages use fireworks to celebrate the country's independence in a loud, bright way.

However, like most good things in life, fireworks come with their own set of issues. The issues range from losing limbs and self-inflicted burns to unintended effects on veterans.

Throughout the country, signs that read "Combat veteran lives here, please be courteous with fireworks" can be found in yards to alert neighbors that someone with PTSD lives in the home.

The numbers vary, but the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs say between 11 and 20 percent of soldiers returning home from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

"They can call us, and we will go talk to them," Vernon Parish Patrol Chief Ronnie Hagen said. "We will explain what the situation is and normally, they will cooperate with us.

"We would recommend that people check with their neighbors. If you have a neighbor or something that is veteran and you're going to be shooting off fireworks close to his residence, check with him. Be neighborly and go across the street and ask him."

In Vernon Parish, lighting fireworks within Leesville city limits is illegal, but outside city limits is fair game.

Hagen says they have had very few incidents with fireworks in the past and the best measure is to use common sense.

"We tell people to not shoot them at other people and other people's property," Hagen said. "Do it all in a very safe manner. We don't get a lot of injuries. We don't get a lot of calls. A lot of them are just noise calls. Everybody cooperatives pretty well inside the parish."

In DeRidder, like Leesville, fireworks are illegal within the city limits.

However, anyone shooting off fireworks need to be aware of the people and things around them.

"We don't really have a problem with them using them, and people with PTSD need to be a huge consideration, but we get a lot of calls about people's animals being upset," Beauregard Parish Sheriffs Office Chief Detective Mark Herford said. "Their horses, cattle, dogs and stuff like that get upset. Maybe people need to be in consideration of their neighbors and be considerate of the hours.

"We have a noise ordinance, but fireworks usually don't rise to the decibel that is necessary for the parish ordinance."

The Sheriffs Departments and City Police staff across the country will be on alert Monday night to make sure the celebrations go safely and responsibly.

"We are always prepared for complaints for this type of celebration where we know fireworks will be used," Hereford said. "One thing that occurs is that we get calls about reported shots fired and it's generally fireworks."