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Battling Bare - Military Wives Raising Awareness for PTSD

Updated on March 27, 2013
The picture that started it all.
The picture that started it all. | Source

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is commonly called PTSD. For those who have known someone with or battle PTSD themselves; it is a very hard reality.

For a long time, PTSD was, for the most part, ignored or de-emphasized. Sufferers were looked at as if they were crazy, weak or just had trouble adapting to life. It wasn't publicized how difficult it was to live with or deal with on a daily basis. No one talked about the impact it has on your marriage, family, friends, emotions and mind. No one talked about how difficult daily things become that non-sufferers just couldn't understand. Until recently, Service members who came home from war, suffering from PTSD, were not given the proper treatment and attention they needed to adapt to normal life again.

Battling Bare has helped raise awareness for PTSD in a very unconventional but effective way.

The Battling Bare Pledge

Broken by battle...
Wounded by war...
My love is FOREVER--to you this I SWORE.
Quiet your silent screams...
Help heal your shattered soul...
Until once again, my love...
Battle bare.






What is Battling Bare About?

When you are married to a soldier who, in their mind, sees you as an enemy, it can flip your world upside down. The women involved in Battling Bare have dealt with all kinds of pain and suffering due to their husband's PTSD. It is extremely hard to know that the man you love is somewhere inside of this horrible shell, that what they have seen and experienced has created.

These women silently endure things most women could never dream of. Women get punched, choked or grabbed by their husbands because they truly believe they are attacking the enemy and that is only the beginning. These women are brought to a breaking point. They can't stand to be treated this way but love their husbands and know they need help. It is hard to leave someone when you know that their actions are not their fault.

The women involved in Battling Bare firmly and publicly declare that they will not stand for it anymore. They promise to support and help their husbands and to forever love them. The catch is, they have to get help. These women are showing their sacrifice and commitment.

How Did it Start?

One woman, Ashley Wise, had been battling PTSD with her husband with no real help from the military. She wrote the poem on her back with eye liner, that is now the pledge of Battling Bare. She had her friend take a picture and posted it on Facebook. It went viral. She created a Facebook page just so other women could write their pledges on their backs and share the photo.

Battling Bare has now become a non-profit charity working to spread the word about PTSD and getting service members the help they so desperately need.

The Meaning Behind the Battling Bare Photos

The photo that originally started the whole concept had 5 different aspects to it, each with a deep meaning.

Bare: Because they have nothing to hide and are baring it all for the world to see.

Weapon: Because the war is never over just because the soldier is back home.

No Face: Because the spouse is only "the loved one" and easily ignored by the military as they silently deal with the war their spouse is fighting inside.

The Pledge: Because these women are committing to something together to make a difference.

Piece of the Uniform: Because the Military is who they are.

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    • kansasyarn profile image

      Teresa Sanderson 4 years ago from Rural Midwest

      Thanks for sharing on this very challenging topic. PTSD is often untreated and unrecognized. I value the service of our military men and women. They need our help upon their return. As a part of our hospice program we recognized Veterans with a certificate and a service pin. Many said they had never received a thank you for their service to their country. We need to care for those in the military because without them our lives would be very, very different. Thanks again for sharing.