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Small-town Oregonian soldiers serving together in Iraq

2 Jun 2004 | Cpl. Paula M. Fitzgerald

Army Capt. Kyle B. Teamey, Staff Sgt. Mick E. Rose and Spc. Christina D. Scotton never met each other before coming to Iraq.

That may not seem unusual, but here's the kicker. All three hail from the same small Oregon city and are soldiers with 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division.  They're serving in Al Anbar Province with the 1st Marine Division for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Located five hours south of Portland, Klamath Falls boasts a population of almost 40,000.

"Oregon is a relatively unpopulated state," said Teamey, a plans and targeting officer. "And Klamath Falls is a relatively small place."

He said when fellow Oregonians come across one another, a bond forms almost immediately.

"Chances are you both know some of the same people," 28-year-old Teamey added.

Teamey has run into people from Oregon before but never anyone from his hometown and neither have Rose or Scotton, who were equally as shocked to learn of the coincidence.

"Someone in my office asked me where I was from and I said Klamath Falls," explained Scotton, an intelligence analyst. "They went and told Captain Teamey because they knew he was from there, too."

While talking to the captain about home, he told her about another Oregonian.

"I thought it was like a slim to none chance that I would ever run into someone from my hometown, let alone two other people," said 20-year-old Scotton, 20. "It's weird because we all also work in the same area here."

Both Scotton and Teamey work inside the same building.  Rose works in the motor pool behind it.

"I see the captain almost everyday and we sometimes talk about Klamath Falls," said 34-year-old Rose. "We both used to go fishing at the same fishing hole at the Klamath River Canyon."

Through talking, the soldiers also discovered each one had graduated from one of the three high schools within Klamath Falls.

"I went to Mazama High School," Scotton explained. "The captain went to Henley, and Sergeant Rose went to Klamath Union."

She said she remembered a bit of a rivalry between Klamath Union and Mazama.

"When I was a sophomore, some people from my school wrapped the bells of Klamath Union in Saran Wrap," she said.

Rose also recalled the rivalry.

"I went to high school quite a few years before Scotton," he explained. "The schools shared a football field. Every year we had the Canal Bowl and whoever won that got to keep the football from the very first Canal Bowl."

Scotton joked that the three probably shopped at the same Wal-Mart and maybe the same grocery store.

"It's weird," she said. "You never know."

Each of the soldiers visits Klamath Falls every few years, but none of them has definite plans to return to settle down any time soon.

"It's a really nice place to live," Rose said. "I really never expected to meet anyone else from there - especially out here."