Veteran with 'Be Courteous With Fireworks' yard sign unaffected by Flowmaster exhaust, Toby Keith
The brain is a mysterious organ.
By Jack S. McQuack
WHITE LAKE, Mich. — A local Army veteran has baffled prominent neuroscientists after they watched him “roll coal” in his lifted Flowmaster 10-outfitted 2004 Chevrolet Silverado while blaring Toby Keith’s “American Soldier” at 165 decibels and was completely unfazed by post-traumatic stress disorder, sources confirmed today.
Kyle Brainerd, who religiously posts yard signs asking to “Be courteous with your fireworks — combat veteran lives here” every summer and sports a Gadsden flag on his tailgate, has a unique condition that is only triggered by people lighting consumer fireworks on or around July 4th.
“The brain is a mysterious organ,” said University of Michigan neuroscientist Dr. Corinne Johnson. “Common sounds we hear in our everyday lives affect people with trauma differently. Kyle’s condition, which revolves around bottle rockets, ground spinners, and party poppers lit by neighborhood children at celebratory BBQs, takes him back to his harrowing days as a U.S. Army petroleum supply specialist.”
Johnson added that while some sounds remind Brainerd of the fog of war, other sudden loud noises don’t affect Brainerd at all, making his case even more perplexing.
“For example, we observed [Brainerd’s] wife screaming at him to ‘get a job’ and ‘stop playing goddamn Call of Duty,’” said Johnson. “Yet he was totally calm and in control with no signs of distress or worry.”
Brainerd’s friends and extended family are also dumbfounded and hope he’ll overcome his debilitating condition.
“He missed the last couple years of his kids’ school activities due to this disorder,“ said his brother Greg Brainerd. “We all hope and pray that Kyle can get to the point where he can be around crowds that aren’t at the gun range or bar.”
However, according to Johnson and her team, the only thing that can help Brainerd is time.
“We’re confident Kyle will be able to live a long, happy life, free of the prison of this trauma,” said fellow scientist Dr. Phil Blondstein. “Today, he is sitting in his garage listening to ‘Bodies’ and shooting squirrels with a pellet gun, but tomorrow is full of possibilities.”
Until that day comes, Brainerd will continue with exposure and sensory tactile therapy at the local gentlemen's club every Wednesday night while his wife coaches the local children’s soccer team.
Jack S. McQuack is an Army veteran who writes to avoid his problems and lives under a bridge near you. Follow him on Twitter at @jacksmcquackesq but don’t expect any replies, reactions, or tweets. On second thought, don’t bother.