Last year we introduced you WYSK Ashley Wise, a military wife and mother of three who founded Battling Bare, an awareness campaign and network of support for service members and their families suffering and struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

After Ashley’s husband returned from combat with PTSD, she was compelled to share her story with other military wives. When she realized she was not alone in her desperation to find the right support for her husband and family, she devoted herself to the cause.

Battling Bare offers a unique, multifaceted approach to healing while eradicating the stigma of PTSD through an incredibly impactful awareness campaign, as well as education and outreach programs.

Since being featured on WYSK, Battling Bare has continued to gain incredible momentum, and to date, has reached over 14 million people with its message of hope and healing. But it doesn’t stop there.

Ashley Wise crowned Mrs. InternationalRecently, Ashley was crowned Mrs. Tennessee International 2013 and was also the recipient of the pageant’s Jurnee Carr Platform and Community Service Award for her incredible efforts to bring awareness to this cause. She will go on to represent TN at the Mrs. International 2013 Pageant this July in Chicago.

“I’m thrilled, blessed, humbled and even more determined to affect positive change in the world of PTSD. Being chosen to represent the beautiful state of Tennessee at the Mrs. International Pageant is incredible. I really have no words. It’s a dream come true.”

Ashley is also currently gracing the cover of the May issue of Military Spouse Magazine, which reaches over 1.1 million military spouses. Her issue (lead image above) hit newsstands yesterday.

For every 100 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, 11 to 20 of them will have PTSD. According to a report published by Injury Prevention, a journal for health professionals, suicide rates among U.S. Army personnel increased 80 percent between 2004 and 2008. Rates of mental health issues like anxiety, personality disorders, substance abuse, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among soldiers correlate to the suicide increase, the researchers said.

The consensus among mental health professionals is that it’s of the utmost importance that veterans and their family members recognize if someone is suffering from PTSD and get help before it is too late.

Although federal agencies have been dedicating more resources to the screening of PTSD and treatment, Ashley knows all too well that treatment hasn’t been reaching those who need it. She remains “dedicated to eradicating the stigma in order for the family as a whole to achieve the help and healing they deserve. Now let’s see if we can reach 50 million people this year!”

We congratulate Ashley and her Battling Bare team on their incredible achievements!