Local Man Former Sergeant of Stephen Jordi

Thirty-five-year-old Stephen Jordi was stationed in Columbus in 1989 as part of the 197th Army training brigade. Jesse Barber says when Stephen Jordi first became a member of his unit he was warned by other soldiers that Jordi was trouble. Until now, Barber had no idea how true that was.

Jesse Barber experienced many things while he was an Army Sergeant in 1989, but he says he'll never forget Stephen Jordi.

"He'll always stick in my mind as long as I live because he was one of mine."

Jordi, who served in barber's 197th Army training brigade in Columbus about 14 years ago, was arrested in Miami last week for plotting to bomb abortion clinics in south Florida and Macon, Georgia.

"Jesse Barber describes Stephen Jordi as a man who loved to get attention. Judging by his actions while serving in the military, Barber isn't surprised to hear of Jordi's arrest."

"You had to watch him because he liked to play Rambo when we went into the field. When you saw him picking up pinecones you knew he was going to use them as his grenades," says Jesse Barber, former Army Sergeant of Stephen Jordi.

Some members of Jordi's family beg to differ. They say he isn't prone to violence.

"I did not think that Steve could do it, and if he had to do it, someone must have put the idea in Stephen's head," says Rodney Ward, Jr., Stephen Jordi's brother-in-law:

Jesse Barber agrees that Jordi was easily influenced. He says a positive authority figure could have made all the difference.

"I hate that it happened, all it would have taken was a little direction and he'd have been OK."

Stephen Jordi is a former Pensacola resident. His brother turned him in after learning of his plans in July. Jordi faces felony violent crime charges with more federal charges possible.


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