Ashley Wise’s husband Rob is about as tough as they come. The career soldier spent 8 years in the Marines before joining the Army after 9/11 and serving on two tours of duty in Iraq, but in April this year, he hit a wall. He locked himself in a hotel room with guns and alcohol and told his wife “he might do something stupid.” Thankfully he returned home unharmed.
That evening, Wise told a girlfriend, “I want to streak across the 101st command building, because then maybe the general or someone would listen to what I’m saying.” Instead she grabbed an eyeliner pencil and had her friend write these words on her back:
Broken by battle,
Wounded by war,
I love you forever,
To you this I swore:
I will quiet your screams,
Help heal your shattered soul
Until once again, my Love, you are whole.
Ashley Wise posted a picture of her naked back on Facebook, invited other military wives to share images of themselves, and the organization Battling Bare was born. “Our initial intent was to take Facebook by storm,” says Wise. She says, at heart, she simply wanted families to be able to enjoy normal things together like “eating at Chuck E. Cheese’s or going to the fireworks.” When she spoke to other women and “realized how big the problem is, we knew we had to do something.”
Now, just two months later, Wise is working with seven other military wives to launch a non-profit organization to raise awareness about PTSD and the impact it has on spouses and children. In three years, they aim to have a chapter in every state in place to support military families and hold workshops based on a model developed by Operation Restored Warrior.
Article by Sarah B. Weir : Military Wives Strip Down to Raise Awareness About PTSD: Battling Bare, on Yahoo! Blogger.