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Op-Ed: On 4th of July, Remember Veterans, First Responders Dealing with Trauma

By Paul DePalo | July 3, 2022
Last Updated: July 3, 2022
July 3, 2022
Paul DePalo represents District 7 on the Governor’s Council

When vetting judges on the Governor’s Council, I talk a lot about the enduring impacts of trauma. Because of my professional experience, I am particularly sensitive to the impacts of trauma on our young people.

This 4th of July, remember that many in our community- veterans, any victim or witness to gun violence- can have PTSD triggered by the noise of fireworks.

I think of children I’ve worked with who’d witnessed gun violence and would become highly dysregulated at any “boom” or “bang”, regardless of the source. In those moments, their reactions would sometimes elicit strong condemnation from an adult not familiar with trauma-informed care (yes, that’s one of many avenues of the trauma-to-prison pipeline).

I believe all first responders, educators, and others who interface with the public in stressful environments or situations should be trained in de-escalation and trauma-informed support.

This July 4th, thank you to our veterans, the law enforcement community, first responders, social workers, and all others who are on the front lines enduring their own trauma or responding to situations arising from the trauma of others. You deserve support, counseling, and any other resource that will help you navigate the stress of your jobs.

-Paul DePalo, Esq., M.Ed. represents District 7, which includes 65 cities and towns in Central Massachusetts, on the Governor’s Council


Photo credit: Ken_KMF Strategies

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