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Wife of Soldier Accused of Killing 16 Civilians in Afghanistan Had a Blog

March 19th, 2012 by Yvonne Condes

woman typing on computer, blogging is publicKarilyn Bales, the wife of the soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians, most of whom were women and children, had a blog.

It seems like the least significant piece of information in a truly tragic story. One that opens up questions about stress to soldiers deployed over and over in war zones, mental health treatment for combat soldiers, and the fallout from another transgression by an American soldier in an occupied Muslim country.

Why is it significant that Karilyn Bales had a blog? (It has since been shut down, according to news reports). Because it documented her life. She wasn’t just talking about herself but her family. Everything in her blog could be used against her husband during his military trial, although from what I’ve read they likely won’t need it. But her thoughts on the minutiae of her family life are on trial now. The New York Times had excerpts in yesterday’s paper that fueled speculation that the fourth tour of duty for her husband was too much. The family was also unhappy last year that he did not get a promotion.

From the New York Times – “A little less than a year ago, in March 2011, Ms. Bales wrote on her blog that her husband had not received a promotion to E-7, sergeant first class. The family was disappointed, she said, ‘after all of the work Bob has done and all the sacrifices he has made for his love of his country, family and friends.’”

The blog excerpts paint a picture of a wife’s life with a military husband gone most of the time. What was supposed to have been a time capsule for her children is now being used to find hints of the horrors to come.

Insurance agencies, divorce lawyers and prosecutors have been using blogs and Facebook for years to find evidence in cases. How sad to think to think the story and pictures of her life that brought her comfort and peace while her husband was away could hurt him.

As a blogger this brings home the public nature of what we do. Will a blog post about a conference where you enjoyed too many conference cocktails come back to haunt you? Or a post where you talk about how conservative/liberal you are hurt your changes of getting your dream job?

These are mild in comparison to what we’re talking about here, but it’s a reminder that a blogger’s life is public. Everything you say online is with you forever.

Yvonne Condes is the Editor and Co-Founder of MomsLA.com

Yvonne Condes (409 Posts)

Yvonne Condes is the Editor and Co-Founder of MomsLA.com. She is a Los Angeles Mom of 2, former newspaper reporter, and occasional marathoner. Also find her at her personal Latina blog YvonneInLA.com and @YvonneInLA and MomsLA.


11 comments

  1. This is long my belief… when you blog you chose to put your life online, so be aware that someday there may very well be a price to pay. Terrible tragedy about her husband- I didn’t hear of it til now.

  2. That is a tragic story, but also a good reminder about how what we post online can have consequences that affect the whole family. I once almost cost my husband his job on a movie by posting a picture he had shared with me. It’s made me a lot more cautious about what I reveal.

  3. So tragic and extremely sad. Military wives do blog, some with big followings. I’m surprised the military hasn’t cracked down on their blogging. Great post, Yvonne.

  4. I choose not to blog about my personal life beyond travel. I have strong political views but would never share them in the blogosphere because of how my views might hurt my career or alienate those who might disagree. Being an opinionated person, it is hard to keep my mouth closed, especially when I know I have an audience but this is a reminder of why I do operate how I do. Of course, I have opened my big mouth plenty on FB so really, I am screwed either way. :)

  5. This is the first time I’ve heard this part of the story. As a blogger it holds a morbid fascination for me. Like driving by the scene of an accident. Devastating yet impossible to look away. My prayers to this soldier’s wife and family and the families of the Afghani victims. And for the soldier as well. I suspect he’s suffering from PTSD. I don’t think you can send men into war over and over again and expect them not to psychologically snap. There are no words.

  6. It is so sad to hear about another life lost.

  7. What a sobering story! I hadn’t heard about this awful tragedy, but it really is a sad state of affairs that innocent words, pics and basically a journal of this women’s personal thoughts about her most precious relationships are now on trial and being scrutinized.
    Because of the public nature of blogging, though, I am always acutely aware and sometimes a bit guarded about what I choose to put online.

  8. I am very very careful about what I post on my blog….not only with regards to my kids but my husband and I ….I have known that everything on the internet could be referenced and come back so to speak so I write always with this in mind

  9. I’m careful with what I write as I don’t know what can come back to haunt me one day and I don’t need the drama.

  10. This. I just made it a point a few days ago about how your words are seen by everyone. People are so quick to share some information, and it’s horrible when it comes back to haunt you.

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