KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — As tensions continue to rise between the United States and Iran, Klamath Falls veterans who served in oversea wars shared their thoughts on the current events.
Just a short distance away from the Kingsley Field Air National Guard Base, at the Klamath Falls Veterans of Foreign Wars station, Karen Johnson a retired U.S. Army Colonel who served in Operation Desert Storm, and current District 5 V.F.W. Commander said she feels secure knowing the base is nearby.
“I absolutely feel secure with the 173rd Fighter Wing Command, that’s what they train for, for the F-15 Fighter Jets. They are ever prepared so yes I am glad they are here," Johnson said.
Kingsley Field Air National Guard Base is the home base of the Oregon Air National Guard's 173d Fighter Wing which is a part of the air education and training command that supports training for F-15 jets for the air national guard and the u-s air force.
Though they do occasionally deploy individuals in support of combat operations around the globe, Jennifer D Shirar, a spokeswoman for the base, said there are no current plans to deploy pilots or any support personnel. She added that the base is currently focused on "their F-15 training mission."
Johnson said the threat of an attack on U.S. soil is always looming and said: "this is what we train for."
Of the Iranian missile attack at two Iraqi military bases that house American troops, she said the threats should not be taken lightly and recalled past events.
“It's an ever-present danger, not just for what happened yesterday, look at the world trade centers, I was there before it was bombed, so it's been ongoing, they tried to attack that years ago, I believe it was in the 1980s and we intercepted that," she said.
Duane Whitehead, a former Combat Engineer who served in the Vietnam War, and is quartermaster at the V.F.W. Post 1383 and V.F.W. District 5, said he also feels that Kingsley Field provides security for all in the area.
“I feel Klamath Falls is secure because of the 173rd Air force, they’re always on their striker training sessions, they always keep training in everything incase we do go to war," he said.
Whitehead said he believes this is a time to prioritize the safety of U.S. citizens.
“I believe that we need to keep the American citizens safe, so basically I believe in everything the president is doing," Whitehead said.
Both Johnson and Whitehead said it's important for Americans to come together and support each other when times are tense, saying we are stronger together.