The whole idea started earlier this year with Ft. Campbell wife Ashley Wise, who writes on the group's Web site that "Battling BARE, Inc. was born out of loneliness, frustration, hurt, anger and despair…lots of negative things."
She says that when "the idea for our first BB [picture] came, soldier suicide was a weekly occurrence, a friend's husband had actually just ended his own life a few weeks before, my husband had hit a wall after hearing about his former platoon mate snapping in Afghanistan, I am sure you know the story, [and] a few weeks later he lost one of his own soldiers from overdose."
The Battling BARE pictures carry Magic Marker messages written on the wives bodies that say things like, "I will quiet the silent screams," or "I will help heal your wounded soul."
Fort Campbell, which straddles the Tennessee-Kentucky line about an hour north Nashville, is well aware of the Battling Bare group, but the military installation insists there is help for military families facing the pain of combat stress and the rising number of soldier suicides.
In a statement, the head of the Fort Campbell hospital Col. Paul R. Cordts, MD said, "We are making behavioral health care more accessible to Soldiers by implementing embedded behavioral health care within the footprint of all brigades. Emergency behavioral health is offered 24 hours, 365 days a year within the Emergency Center at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital."