Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, the U.S. soldier alleged to have killed 16 Afghan civilians, was described by a former platoon leader Saturday as an "awesome" soldier.
"He always got the job done," said Cpt. Christopher Alexander, who led Bales on his second tour in Iraq. "You give this guy a task — it could be menial, it could be dangerous — either way, you never had to worry about whether he'd get it done and get it done well."
Alexander said he and other former members of the company found out Monday that Bales had been linked to the massacre. They kept it quiet until his name was leaked by government officials Friday. He said everyone who knows Bales from that time is mystified, and guesses this might be a case of post-traumatic stress disorder.
"I would be surprised, though, if we haven't been told everything," he said. "There's just a lot about this story that doesn't make sense."
Bales has not yet been charged. He was flown back to the U.S. from Kuwait and arrived Friday evening at a military detention center at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. Read more.....