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Military wives go topless for PTSD

3:31 PM, Oct 5, 2012   |    comments
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This is the photo that started Battling BARE (Courtesy WSMV Nashville via CNN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- It all started with just one picture and a Facebook post, and in a matter of months, it has grown to hundreds of pictures as women from around the world take off their tops to Battle BARE.

PHOTOS | Military wives go topless for PTSD

Ashley Wise uses eyeliner to bring attention to more than just her eyes. She pens the Battling BARE pledge on the back of Army wife Jennifer Brown, for a photo to add to the group's Facebook page.

Broken by Battle,
Wounded by War,
My love is forever -
to you this I swore.
I will:
Quiet your silent screams
Help heal your shattered souls
Until once again
my love you are whole.
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 says 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 at Fort Campbell for her husband, for PTSD.

"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." 

Wise said her husband was not her only inspiration.

"These are my husband's dog tags," Alicia Mccoy said of the tags she wears around her neck. "They were found in his car when they retrieved his car and brought it back to me after they found my husband's body." 

Mccoy's husband, Sgt. Brandon Mccoy committed suicide in March. She says her husband sought help for PTSD, but it wasn't enough.

"Our soldiers have a lot to say," she said. "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 they're afraid it's going to hurt their record."

It's a silence wise and the other women hope to slowly break with Battling BARE's mission.

"Ensuring that the stigma of PTSD goes away and people talk about it," Wise said. "That's really the biggest thing. And in talking, there's healing and not ignoring it. Because ignoring it, people are dying."

For more information, visit Battling BARE's website.

(WSMV Nashville via CNN)

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