Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Sat, March 17 2012 at 6:40 PM, Updated: Sat, March 17 2012 at 6:50 PM
Six Oregon Air National Guard members from Kingsley Field are back home tonight following a tour of duty in Afganistan.
Colonel Curtis Waite explains that the first wave of returning Guard members is part of a larger group...
"These are our security forces guys, 26 of them that have been to Bagram, Afganistan the last six months. But in reality, they've been at this, prepping for this, for about ten months."
The homecoming was particularly sweet for Master Sergeant Levi Clarey, who got to see his 7 week old son Lane for the first time...
"Actually, I was very lucky - with technology, I got to skype, so I was there skyping for the birth - so that was nice. But just trying to get the job done, and get home."
A crowd of over 100 was on hand to welcome the troops home. The second wave of Guard members are scheduled to return home Tuesday morning at 9.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.
Lyle's job history is quite colorful. He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.
Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience. "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".
When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.