Guard Members Return Home

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Tue, March 20 2012 at 4:22 PM, Updated: Tue, March 20 2012 at 4:33 PM

19 National Guard members from Kingsley Field returned home this morning from a six month tour of duty in Afganistan.  Clint Wells was one of 26 Air Guard Security Force members that left for Afganistan last September...

"And it was an interesting experience - but I had tons of great people with me, so it turned into a good experience."

Colonel Curtis Waite notes that the Guard members were stationed at Bagram Air Base...

"They were doing base and area security.  So, the last few weeks where you saw the riots around Bagram and Kabul, these guys were right in the middle of it."

Staff Sergeant Michael James was one of those reluctant to talk about his experiences...

"It went by quick.  That's all I have to say, really, sir..."

Senior Airman Jacob Ingledue is concerned about those still in harm's way...

"I don't know - I'm - my brother's out there, and I'm glad to be home and be with family."

A crowd of about 200 people turned out to welcome the troops home, including Oregon National Guard Major General Raymond Rees...

"Always wonderful here in Klamath Falls, Klamath County - great community spirit, we love it.  We're thankful to be a part of this community."

Clint Wells will soon be back patrolling with the Klamath County Sheriff's Office. 

Kingsley Field will be assisting the returning Guard members over the next couple of weeks to help them with the transition back into civilian life.

About the Author

Lyle Ahrens

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.

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