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This is what SMSgt (retired) Ben Quen has been up to since retiring from the 216th.He and Karen moved to Klamath Falls Oregon and not long after that Ben joined the local Klamath County Sheriff Search and Rescue (SAR) Team.Unfortunately not all the stories have a happy ending but these are just a few of the searches that Ben has been a part of.
This vehicle got stuck in the snow with a man, his wife and children inside. They were trying to get to the coast on an old logging road. The family used the vehicle as shelter. At some point they took the tires off and burned them for warmth. After a few days, the husband left and went for help, while the wife and children stayed with the car. Instead of staying on the road, the man went into the canyon and that's what sealed his fate. The wife was spotted by a helicopter and her and the kids were rescued in good health. Ben, and two other SAR members were sent to the vehicle to do an inventory and evidence search. They were trying to determine what the man had taken with him when he left to get help. About an hour after Ben’s team concluded the inventory, the husband was located by the helicopter.Unfortunately he was deceased.
This Airplane crashed in a remote wilderness area with two males, in their 20s aboard. An initial fix on their location was obtained by monitory their Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT). A Helicopter was able to get a visual on the crash site. The team Ben was with reached the crash by, snowmobile, and finally snowshoes. Extraction was performed by Para-rescue Jumpers on a short haul line from a Blackhawk helicopter. The “short-haul” is a 200 foot line that is lowered from the helicopter with a rescue member to extricate victims.While these two men suffered many injuries, they did survive. Based on this search, it was decided SAR members will be trained and certified in Short Haul insertion and extraction. I guess you’re never too old to become a PJ.
This search was near the Williamson River and involved a 12 year old boy who went missing while on horseback. He was out getting a stray cow. Ben was part of the team that did an all night search on ATVs and with a dog search team. There were also people out on horseback looking. When morning came they did a line search (pictured) and dog search until their operational period was over and they were relieved. About four hours after Ben’s team was relieved, a Helicopter saw a shadow in the river. The Dive Rescue Team went to the location and pulled the young boy out of the water. Ben and Karen were surprised to learn that the family of the boy were members of their local Catholic church, the same church they attend. Three days after the boy was found Ben and eight other Search and Rescue (SAR) members joined the family in the funeral mass. Needless to say they we're extremely saddened by it. The only good thing was that they were able to provide closure for the family by bringing young Gus home.