Klamath Falls, Ore. – Charles Jackson says if it wasn’t for the military, his life would be very different.
“I’d be in jail, or prison if I never joined the military.” Says Jackson. “Just sleeping on someone’s couch, going house to house – so it’s just the greatest thing I ever did in my life. Other than having kids!”
Jackson joined the Marines in 2001, and served 4 years.
He then enlisted in the Army National Guard.
Jackson served three tours of duty in Afganistan, and one in Iraq.
“It’s really a great honor to be able to fight in the world’s greatest military.” Notes Jackson.
His wife Eleanor gave birth to two children while Jackson was overseas.
Jackson believes that may have made him a better soldier: “Really kept you more alert than you were, because you’re about ready to bring a new life into the world, and you want to be able to visit your child.”
Jackson is proud of his Native American ancestry.
“I’m Modoc and Hoopa, and Yahooskin Band of Snake River Indians.” Explains Jackson. “My father’s full blood, and my mother, she’s from Wales.”
The Klamath County resident believes that positive mentors are heroes, if only to one person.
“Take them woodcutting, and show them a positive way to spend your time, and help other people out.”
And that’s just how Jackson plans to spend Veterans’ Day.
“Going to be with my son, and my daughters – probably going fishing, out at Sprague River.”
But, he says he still greatly appreciates the public Veterans’ Day observations…
“I think it’s wonderful that America takes a day to support their veterans.”
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.