Military wives have long been known for a quiet and stoic support of husbands, even during trying times such as battles with post-traumatic stress disorder. While they will continue to support them, some are saying they will no longer stay as silent and are choosing to expose the fact that PTSD affects the whole family.
In a revealing campaign to raise awareness about PTSD, women are joining with "Battling BARE," a private organization seeking non-profit status, in the hopes of inspiring "'silent supporters' to 'battle back' and let our voices be heard by creating an outlet of support and providing resources for wives that are at their wits end trying to help their husbands heal."
Photos are what first really got the campaign attention, as they show women baring a little skin marked with a pledge, which reads:
Broken by battle,
Wounded by war,
I support our troops forever -- to them this I swore.
Quiet your silent screams
Help heal your shattered souls
Until once again every soldier is whole.
Check out this slideshow showing a few photos submitted to Battling BARE:
Why were the photos the chosen way to go for the campaign, which was formally created in April 2012? Founder Ashley Wise, a military wife of a soldier battling PTSD, said once to a friend, "I kind of want to take my clothes off and streak across the 101st command building, because then maybe the general or someone would listen to what I’m saying." The Leaf Chronicle in Tennessee recently interviewed Wise about the program and her experience with her husband's PTSD:
“I decided that streaking the command building was not a good idea,” Wise said. “That was when I took the first picture holding Rob’s M4 and I wrote the pledge on my back.”
Wise posted the picture on Facebook. Within 24 hours, other military support groups had contacted her praising her bare-backed pledge. Five days later the photo had broken 1,000 likes on the social networking site and the Battling Bare campaign was born.
There are rules for picture submissions, which include no images of naked private parts or faces. Children are also welcome to participate in the campaign, but only their feet can be pictured with the pledge "Battling Bare for my daddy/mommy/soldiers." Teens are allowed to include a photo submission of their arm or shoulder with the obvious appearance that they are wearing a shirt or tank top with a similar message as that of the wives.
At of the time of this posting, Battling BARE has more than 3,700 likes on Facebook.
Watch this Battle BARE video to learn more about the campaign (Warning: Images may be disturbing to some):
(H/T: Daily Mail)