Kari Bales Speaks to Supporters

Kari Bales told me she immediately started an email to me that first day she read my letter. She told me that she started and stopped many times, hovering over the “send” button, coming back time and time again to complete her message. She said there were just so many things running through her mind those first few days that it was difficult to know exactly what to say. She knew she would send it someday, when she had the right words.

When she finally did send it, the door opened for us to have a conversation about how I came to write the letter, and how she came to read it. I told her about my mother and I sitting around the kitchen table, crying as we thought about the loneliness, remembering our own experiences of frustration when we didn’t have the information we felt we needed. When I talked about the necessity of dealing with the absence of information in military life, we shared one of those “YES, I TOTALLY GET IT” moments that military spouses often share. Then she explained how a co-worker encouraged her to read the letter, and she described seeing it for the first time through tears.

It was one of the most meaningful exchanges I’ve ever had.

But this isn’t supposed to be my message. It’s hers. So here it is:

*     *     *

When I read your letter I began shaking and crying. You had so eloquently summed up all of the questions and emotions that I had been feeling since my whole world had been turned upside down. I am not looking at the news very much these days. Instead I read your letter every night before I go to bed and let all of the supportive words and prayers sink in.

I came back to your blog today to read the wonderful sentiments, blessings, and supportive comments that your audience has left. I know that there is a roller coaster ride ahead of me. I am so overwhelmed, appreciative, blessed, soothed, cyber-hugged, supported, loved, cared-for, in awe and thankful for all of the comments that your readers have shared. It was brave of you to write such a letter and all of the readers who chose to reach out are brave as well.

I am taking every day as it comes, enjoying our children and taking deep breaths.

I will continue to come back to your letter everyday, and read all of the comments and soak in the support. Please let everyone know I am feeling their support and understanding. Thank you.

Sincerely, Kari Bales

*     *     *

The comments for Kari Bales will remain open, and I will keep approving them, as long as you keep writing them.


17 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mick
    Jul 02, 2012 @ 15:27:46

    I`m sorry but Mr. Bales is guilty. He would not be where he is if there was not evidence to support it. Mrs, Bales is in total denial. While I feel bad for her, she has to face the facts and face reality. Her husband systematically MURDERED 16 people while they were sleeping, including women and children. Sorry, but there is NO EXCUSE and Mr. Bales is not above the law. I`m mystified how he can shoot to death children sleeping when he has two of his own. There are witnesses and also military personnel who saw this man go out of the base twice that night. Quit trying to cover up everything, he deserves any sentence he gets. He`s destroyed many families, including his own. And I hope justice is swiflty served in this case.


  2. Tiffany
    Apr 11, 2012 @ 12:53:59

    Praying for you today.


  3. Trackback: When a Military Spouse Blogger Reaches Out « Off The Base
  4. Linda Meade
    Apr 02, 2012 @ 08:51:03

    Wow! I just read the article that featured you in the “Columbian” Lori! I have thought of Kari many times and prayed for her whole family! How awesome of you Lori, to reach out to her through your blog! We live in the Felida area so are very close to Ridgfield and I am proud of what you did through your blog and so glad she responded. We all go through tough times in life and need friends to reach out (even strangers who understand). We know lots of service families and your blog is a much needed format for many. Thanks for your passion to help and I will continue to pray for all of your family Kari. When I have had to deal with issues much bigger than myself I do what someone else mentioned and that is to take one day at a time. The other is to read the Serenity Pray each day.


  5. Trackback: The wife of accused Afghan shooter Bales speaks out | Anna Weaver
  6. Nan G.
    Mar 29, 2012 @ 11:13:30

    In a world where people are so quick to condemn and judge, the letter you initally wrote and all of the support since have given me hope once again. I am so blessed to be able to do the work I do with military servicemembers and their loved ones—-and the support this community has given Kari just confirms that I am where I need to be. Thank you for taking that first step in reaching out to Kari—and Kari…..my thoughts & prayers are with you.


  7. Cry, Beloved Country
    Mar 28, 2012 @ 15:09:40

    Lori, thanks for taking the initiative to reach out to Kari Bales–and thanks for giving the rest of us the opportunity to as well.


  8. Dawn McDaniel
    Mar 28, 2012 @ 10:34:27

    Thank you so much for answering me back. i did send you another email. I will take you up on your offer of what you suggested. Please read your personal email. My arms are wrapped around you and we say a prayer every night. When doing prayers last night my little one said God Bless Quincy’s mom.
    Bless you,


  9. JuliAnne Forrest
    Mar 28, 2012 @ 08:12:57

    Kari and Lori – you and your families continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. Together, with strength and support from everyone, you will make it through all of this. God bless!


  10. jamie winters
    Mar 28, 2012 @ 07:20:35

    I know that kari is still in shock and ill bet she’ll still be in shock for years to come. Im glad shes reading everything and has a lot of support. But of course theres going to be so many negative comments also. Best advice i can give is ignore what the mean people say and smile in their face. Im glad the army is helping her. They did absolutely nothing to help me. Nothing at all, even though my children and i recieved death and rape threats. So its really good that they have her “holed up on base” as the reports put it. And you know, at this point, what her husband is accused of, whether he did it or not, to me is not important. Soon as i saw her on tv and heard her name my immediate thoughts were that she spoke too soon (in my opinion) and i felt my heart drop for her. It brought back all the emotions i had when i first saw my husband on every news channel. Hopefully people dont start making a mockery of her life, like brian de palma and mark cuban seeing an opportunity to make a buck on it. Or like jim frederick jumping to write a book. My heart goes out to kari. She is lucky to have supporters. Regardless if her husband is guilty or not, whether he is a cold blooded killer or a if he just snapped. Honestly i havent even kept track of him in the news. Idk the whole story of what they say happened. I dont even care. My concern and heart is with kari and her kids. Im telling you, those kids will suffer more than anyone. I remember in 2006 thinking my husbands actions wouldnt affect my kids and id take care of them and all would be good.
    .but i was ignorant for thinking that. I said before my kids suffer badly everyday, even with intense therapy and i just hope she gets those babies some help. This is long so i apologize. I just have so much to say and i sit here and cry because i know exactly what she is going through. Sh has all kinds of questions and i bet she doesnt even know what half of them are. Her brain has got to be scattered and her heart heavy. Her family are victims. And although i think she spoke too soon, i think she is very brave. I still wont go on national tv and say my husband is spc james p barker who gang raped q girl and murdered her and her family then burned her. So yes, kari is very brave and stay strong kari. Nobody knows what its like. God bless.


    • Nancy Fox
      Mar 28, 2012 @ 10:23:24

      Jamie, take one day at a time, and try to stay strong for your kids’ sake. I admire your courage, and I will keep you and your family in my prayers.


      • jamie winters
        Mar 29, 2012 @ 06:40:07

        Oh one day at a time is the only way to take it. Im bothered by the amount of negativity kari is getting from this. Even if her husband smiled in their faces before pulling the trigger, she is also still a victim as are her children. Their lives are just as destroyed and i wish everyone could see that. Now, her husband, like i said, idk, i dont even know the story. All i know is i see myself in kari and i see my children in hers. And im glad she has support. The army hopefully treats her better than they treated and still treat me. They basically said to hell with you we dont have to help because he did this and they cut all benefits and didnt care what me and my children had to go through. I just hope they dont do the same to her. And i just wish people would see her as a victim also. Her world is forever changed. Forever. Our troops need to come home!


  11. John Erickson
    Mar 28, 2012 @ 06:57:03

    Look at it this way. You’ve made a great number of casual friends, and hopefully picked up a few new readers. I will count myself honoured to be amongst the latter. (You, on the other hand, will probably live to regret my joining your intrepid little band! 😀 )


  12. barefoot_med_student
    Mar 28, 2012 @ 04:53:57

    Sometimes I get cynical about the blogging world, but stories like these remind me why the information age is not all bad. I think Kari is blessed to have such support, but I also think we are so blessed to get to know Kari through your blog.


    • Lori Volkman @ Witty Little Secret
      Mar 28, 2012 @ 06:45:27

      Isn’t it amazing who has gone scurrying away during all of this? It’s really the brightest part of this whole story. I’d like to “get back to” the regular content of the blog too, though. It’s great to share stories with military and civilians alike and have that “aha” moment where my readers say “yes, it’s just like that!” Afterall, I still have the Spanx story to tell. And my six year-old’s exciting foray into all things naked. But I’ve made a friend and I know we will continue to be in contact, so in many ways this blog is also forever changed.


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