Kari said she takes solace -- even joy -- that she and the kids can visit Robert during 2-hour visiting blocks every Saturday and Sunday. Even though their conversations are monitored, at least, she says, they can be a family again.
"We are together, we're as a family. We're regular; we can look forward to it. We know when we are going to see him again. It's somewhat normal."
"We don't get a whole lot of Bob and Kari talk, when we, when we go and visit him. The kids are very involved with Daddy. They're sitting in his lap, they're reading books. We talk about my job. We talk about your typical family things.
"So I mean, of course, there is worry and there is a lot going on for me. I have a full-time job, I have two kids, and you know all of the other things. Fundraising comes up, and um, there is, there is a lot going on. So, but it's just, it is just usually him and the kids, and I get to watch it; and we'll try to talk to each other a little bit, but the kids are just, they need their dad, they need their dad. And they get that now on a regular basis, so that is really, it is heartwarming for me."
Their immediate concern: Covering what could ultimately be up to a million dollars in legal fees. Kari has set up a website, www.helpsgtbales.com, to solicit donations for the SSG Bales Legal Defense Fund.
"Really the reason we need a defense fund is to get a fair trial out of this. I really feel Bob gave his best for his country. Now it is time for America to give their best to him."
Kari said the support of family and friends, and focusing on her kids, helps keep her strong. She doesn't want to think much about the possibility that Robert may never come home.
"I think about it very fleetingly. I have hopes that that does not happen. I haven't thought about what it would look like if it did. I don't feel like I have to, because I really do feel like there will be a fair trial, and the right things will come out and it will be, it won't be that as an end result."
But the possibility that Robert could face the death penalty if he's convicted on the premeditated murder charges -- that's harder for her to ignore.
"I have come to terms with that, and that I have put away. You know, I thought about it and I put it away until I actually have to deal with it. So you, I have learned to compartmentalize a lot of these issues, too. Yes, I've thought about it and yes, that scares me."
As Staff Sgt. Bales faces what's expected to be a two-week hearing that will determine the course of the rest of his life, his wife Kari said she will be in the front row to remind him of her unwavering support and love.
"How much he is loved, how much he is admired, how proud of him I am, how proud his kids are of him, and his family, and how much his friends care about him. And he's given, he's given so much, and he's worked so hard, that really he deserves a fair trial; he deserves a lot for what he has given and what he has sacrificed."