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Soldier accused in Afghanistan shooting recalled in Ohio city as genial, smart football star
CINCINNATI (AP) ' The soldier being held in the gunning down of Afghan civilians is remembered by people who knew him growing up in Ohio as a good-natured, smart student who was a key player on a high school football team that included a future NFL player.
Those who knew Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales as a teenager are stunned to hear him accused of the shooting of 16 Afghans.
Steve Berling was a teammate of Bales' in the early 1990s at the high school in the blue-collar Cincinnati suburb of Norwood. He calls the allegations "some crazy stuff." He and Bales were all-league players on a team that starred Marc Edwards, who played for Notre Dame and NFL teams.
Berling says Bales also helped care for an autistic young person.