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Fireworks creating complications for some Corridor residents

A sign outside the Lincoln's home reads 'PROUD MARINE LIVES HERE'

After city leaders decided to follow the state's lead on regulating the use of consumer fireworks, many residents say they've noticed an increase in the frequency of noises in Cedar Rapids.

The joys of launching a bottle rocket or lighting a roman candle come at a cost.

To some, the noises are simply a nuisance, an unpleasant sound proving slightly inconvenient.

For others, including Ashlyn Lincoln's family, the fireworks are jarring on two levels.

First, there's Ashlyn's son Gunner.

Gunner is blind, so the sounds naturally startle the nearly 3-year-old boy.

The toddler is fairly consolable, said Ashlyn, but the initial shock proves problematic.

For Ashlyn's husband Axel, the noises are eerily similar to sounds he heard on the battlefield.

Axel, a former marine deployed twice to Afghanistan, suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and the fireworks "sound like possibly a gun being shot," said Ashlyn. "He jumps, he jolts. I see his body tense up."

Whenever fireworks send Axel into a panic, Ashlyn ensures her husband's service dog, a two-year-old Brittany Spaniel named Tucker, is nearby.

The family also has a designated space in the basement -- Axel's man cave -- with two box fans and a radio to drown out the noise should the fireworks trigger a response.

Ashlyn said the sporadic nature of consumer firework use is the biggest obstacle, as "the unexpected... sends our family into a little bit of turmoil."

She said she hopes local officials increase restrictions on use, but urges residents to "be considerate" of neighbors, children, and service members.

Ashlyn and her family are hoping to move to Tennessee, to provide Gunner with more resources for his vision impairment, and to allow Axel to live closer to his friends and family.

The firework regulations are stricter in Tennessee, giving the family another reason to move.

Click here to donate and help the Lincoln family accomplish their goal.

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