Bales became a soldier after 9-11: Wife of Sgt. Robert breaks silence
March 25th, 2012
by JIM FORMAN / KING 5 News
SEATAC, Wash. -- The wife of the Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier accused of killing 17 Afghan civilians spoke publicly for the first time Sunday in the city of SeaTac.
In an exclusive interview with NBC's Matt Lauer to air on Monday's Today show, the wife of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales opened up about her husband, the man at the center of the Afghan massacre investigation.
Karilyn Bales told Lauer why her husband became a soldier after 9-11.
"His reasons for joining the military and the Army were to protect his family and friends (they) were his top priority, but also his country," said Karilyn. "And so he joined the Army after the 2001 attacks to protect his family, friends and his country. He wanted to do his part."
Now his country has charged her husband, a 38-year-old from Lake Tapps, with using his 9mm pistol and M-4 rifle to kill Afghan civilians -- four men, four women, two boys and seven girls, then burning some of the bodies.
Matt Lauer: When I asked what kind of dad he was, you said he was so involved with his children. He loves children?
Karilyn Bales: He loves children. He is like a big kid himself...It is unbelievable to me. I have no idea what happened, but he would not - he loves children. He would not do that.
For their safety, Karilyn Bales and her family were moved on post at Joint Base Lewis-MChord. Bales remains locked up at a military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Karilyn said none of what her husband is accused of makes sense, and are not the actions of the man she knows.
Matt Lauer: How would you describe him?
Marilyn Bales: Very brave, very courageous.
Further legal proceedings will be held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, but the Army said they have no plans on moving Bales back to Western Washington anytime soon.
You can hear Matt Lauer's full exclusive interview with the wife of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales on Monday morning on the Today show, with more coverage Monday evening on NBC Nightly News. Both air on KING 5.