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Robert Bales' Family, Soldier Charged With Murdering 17 Afghan Civilans, Gets Help From Veterans Group

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Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), a congressionally chartered veterans group, is providing help for the family of Sgt. Robert Bales, the soldier charged with killing 17 Afghan civilians.

VFW in Tacoma, Wash., recently raised about $2,000 at a benefit dinner for Bales' family, including his wife, Karilyn, and their two young children, the News Tribune reports.

Tom Darling, the organization’s state chaplain, told the news outlet that the fundraiser is standard procedure.

“It’s helping other veterans or families that have a need,” he said. “We have done a lot of things like this in the VFW.”

Robert Bales is charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder following the killings of 17 Afghan civilians, including nine children, on March 11. He is currently being held at a military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., the Associated Press reports.

When Robert Bales' name went public five days later after the shooting, the Bales family moved from their Lake Tapps, Wash., home onto Lewis-McChord, a military facility about 30 miles away over concern of retaliation, according to the Seattle Times.

The money raised will directly benefit Robert Bales' family, not the legal fund, according to the News Tribune. The source describes what the money will go toward and how people can help:

VFW Post 91 is accepting donations for Kari Bales and her children at its post building, 2000 S. Union Ave. in Tacoma. The money will supplement the family’s living expenses while they pay mounting bills. Donations can be placed in a secured box located just inside the post’s front door. Checks should be made out to VFW Post 91. Call 253-759-6995 to see if the building is open.

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