Friends of former soldier charged in Iraq deaths recall unpredictable behavior

August 6th, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: Friends of former soldier charged in Iraq deaths recall unpredictable behavior

ALVARADO, Texas_Football coach Jimmy Isclaw stopped at a gas station to
refuel his car and noticed the familiar face of a skinny kid who played for
him a few years back.

Isclaw had not seen Steven Green since he played freshman football at
Alvarado High School in 2000. An unpredictable kid from a broken home, Green
spent only one year in this small town 60 miles (97 kilometers) outside
Dallas before moving again, dropping out of high school and joining the

"He was being dropped off to visit some buddies and he didn't even have a
change of clothes," Isclaw recalled. "He asked if he could use the field
house to shower."

Green was gone the next day and it was two more years before Isclaw saw him
again _ in news stories this summer about Green being charged with the
murder of an Iraqi family and the rape of a young girl.

The arrest came six weeks after the Army had discharged Green, a private
with the 101st Airborne Division for an "anti-social personality disorder."
He remains in federal custody awaiting arraignment.

"I feel for the kid," Isclaw said. "I'm not a military guy. I don't know the
ways they are taught. But did we train (Green) to become a killer?"

Known among classmates as "the drifter" from Midland, the West Texas oil
town where Green lived off and on with his father, Green came to Alvarado at
age 14 to live with his father's brother.

He landed a spot on the freshman football team as a wide receiver and
defensive back, and during the first week of practice he got into a fight
with teammate Jerry Poehlein, who head-butted Green and bloodied his nose.

No one remembers what caused the fight but they do remember Green's
reaction: He spent all day at school with a bloodied white T-shirt but
refused to rat out his teammate, simply telling coaches and teachers that he
got bloody noses all the time.

"There was no reason for me to do that to him and him not tell on me,"
Poehlein said. "From that first week you could see he was loyal."

Teammate Cody Ray soon befriended Green.

"Nobody ever talked to him, but he eventually talked to everybody," he said.

"At first I felt sorry for him; nobody seemed to want him, so I befriended
him. After a couple of months, he was one of my good buddies, so it wasn't
me feeling sorry for him anymore," said Ray.

Green constantly sought ways to get noticed. He produced constant laughter
with bizarre dances, kicking his gangly legs like a scarecrow come to life.
He repeatedly crushed soda cans on his forehead until he bled. He told
off-color jokes.

Classmates and coaches said Green did not talk much about his family life.
Both parents have misdemeanor convictions on alcohol-related traffic
violations and they divorced when Green was 4, according to court documents.

Green's father, John Green, who works in the oil industry, sent his son to
Alvarado because he thought a new town would give the teen a fresh start,
classmates said.

John Green would not talk to The Associated Press, on his attorney's advice.
Neither John Green's brother, David, with whom the teen lived for the year,
nor Steven Green's mother, Roxanne Simolke Carr, could be located for

Away from school, Green sought stability and adult acceptance. He spent
significant time with Ray's family, joining them for dinner, birthday
parties and trips to nearby Fort Worth. He never finished a home-cooked meal
without saying thank you, and he volunteered to take out the trash or help
with dishes, said Ray's mother, Joni Ray.

"He wasn't someone who said, 'poor pitiful me; I got a raw deal,' never
anything like that," Joni Ray said. "But I could tell he didn't get many
home-cooked meals before he came here."

Classmates and coaches said nothing about Green as a teen indicated he was
capable of the violence alleged in the charges.

"The first thing I thought of was, what a shame," former Alvarado coach Joe
Hough said. "Maybe he was starved for attention _ in fact, he definitely was
_ but he wasn't crazy."

"That doesn't sound like anything he would do," said Joni Ray. "I still
can't believe it."
August 6th, 2006  
Some people can be a victim and a criminal at the same time. But most of them don't become criminals because they were a victim also. It's sad all the way around, no winners, just losers.

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