A group of military wives are taking a head-turning approach to help combat a crisis. They are going bare, while baring their souls to raise awareness about post traumatic stress disorder and the need for treatment.
It all started with just one picture and a Facebook post, and within months the movement included hundreds of women from around the world taking off their tops to "battle bare."
"This is a pledge that you're making for your spouse that, in my opinion, is just as important as marriage vows," Wise said.
Wise said she came up with the pledge to battle bare out of desperation, which she said grew as she tried to get help for her husband, who suffered from PTSD at Fort Campbell.
"I felt like streaking the general's lawn, because then maybe a naked woman would get attention, and they wouldn't sweep me underneath the rug," Wise said.
"I decided to, instead, do a photo campaign, and it's what I call a 'God moment' - pledge, picture. Ten minutes later, it was on Facebook."
In Wise's photo, she appears with her husband's hat and gun, but Wise said her husband was not her only inspiration.
"These are my husband's dogtags. They were found in his car when they retrieved his car and brought back to me after they found my husband's body," said Alicia McCoy.
Alicia McCoy's husband, Sgt. Brandon McCoy died of suicide in March. She said her husband sought help for PTSD, but it wasn't enough.
"Our soldiers have a lot to say. They have a lot bottled up inside of them, and no one is listening. I feel like they are afraid to be able to say what they need to say, because it will hurt their record," Alicia McCoy said.
That is a silence Wise and the other women hope to slowly break with Battling Bare's mission - one picture, pledge and solider at a time.
Wise said Battling Bare works to refer service members to outlets for care. She added that in the coming months the group will become a fully pledged nonprofit origination.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 8:39 PM EDT2013-05-22 00:39:52 GMT
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