Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, the U.S. soldier suspected of killing 16 Afghan civilians in a shooting rampage a week ago, reportedly had an excellent record as an upbeat soldier—at least in Iraq, according to friends and fellow servicemen. He “always kind of had a smile on his face,” Capt. Chris Alexander tells NPR. Alexander was Bales’s platoon leader in Iraq, where Bales served from 2003 to 2010 before being deployed in Afghanistan. Alexander also recounted that Bales saved lives and was decorated for good conduct. His neighbors and friends said he was a dedicated husband and father and mentioned his “sunny” disposition.
PROFILE Spc. Ryan Hallock