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View Full Version : Please say hi to my old buddy Gilbert.....



Raymond Richard
02-11-2010, 01:08 PM
Gil and I first met shortly after we both arrived at LZ Noname, somewhere in the Central Highlands of Vietnam round about September of 1969. We spent a good deal of our time digging holes, filling sandbags, and many other things that the army had to keep us busy. The one great thing that we did accomplish was become good friends but after I left the field with malaria we never saw or heard from each other till December 23rd or 2008 when I spotted Gil's name on a web page that our unit had put up. We are now back to being good friends! Gil has worked with the USPS for the last 30 years and is going to retire come May 1st of this year. Gil has had an interest in knives for several years now and has made a few with his brother over the years. Now he's looking for something to do and I'm pretty sure what that will be. Here's a few old pictures back from our youth which are possible the last time each of us had a full head of hair. I did finally talk Gil into registering on the forum now to see if he will post something.

Gil in the white T shirt and that's me having a smoke in the middle. I think I could also be supervising this detail but sure don't remember.
http://www.hawknknives.com/forums/IMG_0993.JPG

Gil with the M-60 I borrowed that I forgot to return. Nice gun!
http://www.hawknknives.com/forums/IMG_0996.JPG

Gil on the left, look at all the hair we both had back then. :D Behind us is LZ Terrace, its the one hill with the exposed earth. One of our many campgrounds.
http://www.hawknknives.com/forums/IMG_0995.JPG

Gil and I in April of last year. Age wasn't kind to either of us.
http://www.hawknknives.com/forums/IMG_1212.JPG

Jeff Pearce
02-11-2010, 01:36 PM
Great story.....welcome to the knife Dogs. Gilbert...

Denny Eller
02-11-2010, 02:04 PM
Welcome to the pound, Gilbert. I got to the Nam in Sept. of 1969 which sounds like around the same time you and Capt. Rayhab got there. I don't know what the hell happened - we were winning when we left.

Phil Dwyer
02-11-2010, 02:09 PM
Dang, you guys look like brothers!

Raymond Richard
02-11-2010, 02:17 PM
Welcome to the pound, Gilbert. I got to the Nam in Sept. of 1969 which sounds like around the same time you and Capt. Rayhab got there. I don't know what the hell happened - we were winning when we left.

Denton, Leaving that hell hole alive and with all the pieces I went there with except for a few hairs was a victory in it self. The guys that were there sure didn't lose it. I'm still not sure what we were doing there.

Phil, Gil and I are brothers!

Phil Dwyer
02-11-2010, 02:30 PM
Phil, Gil and I are brothers!

I guess he's the handsome one! :eek:

Gil, welcome to Ray's Offbeat Forge cyberspace connection! :D

hi there 1

I guess you know more about this guy than many of us do. Can you tell me, do I really need to watch out for him when he tells me "this is for you" and posts this photo brandying a spear he forged?

http://www.hawknknives.com/forums/IMG_1682.JPG

Raymond Richard
02-11-2010, 03:01 PM
I guess he's the handsome one! :eek:

Gil, welcome to Ray's Offbeat Forge cyberspace connection! :D

hi there 1

I guess you know more about this guy than many of us do. Can you tell me, do I really need to watch out for him when he tells me "this is for you" and posts this photo brandying a spear he forged?

http://www.hawknknives.com/forums/IMG_1682.JPG

Phil, That's a low blow........... :D

Eli Gautreaux
02-11-2010, 03:27 PM
Welcome Gil! 2thumbs

Ray thinks the world of you and speaks of you often. So it's good to have you registered, now hopefully you'll post some so we can get to know you better.

Stuart Willis
02-11-2010, 04:33 PM
Welcome Gil. Glad to have ya.

Peter Killgore
02-11-2010, 04:55 PM
Welcome to the dog house! Glad you're here.

LR Adkins
02-11-2010, 06:50 PM
hello there Welcome to the pound, Gil.

I was in the 3rd of the 12th infantry, 4th division. The Nam in 66 and 67 around Toi Hoa, then the central highlands. I'm glad you guys made it back.

Larry

mcahron
02-11-2010, 07:01 PM
Nice story Ray.Welcome Gil.

Mike Barton
02-12-2010, 05:59 AM
Phil, That's a low blow........... :D

That's a rather petty comment coming from a guy with a "You'e gonna' die" look on his face holding that spear :eek::p:D

Welcome to the pack Gil,
hello there

or maybe it's welcome to the looney bin ;)

One
02-12-2010, 06:03 AM
Cool!

Chuck Brooks
02-12-2010, 06:23 AM
Welcome Gil, with Ray's endorsement it's got to be solid. Look forward to reading your posts.
Chuck

Josh Dabney
02-12-2010, 07:21 AM
Welcome to the Dog Pound Gil and thanks to every one of you for your service to our country.

-Josh

Raymond Richard
02-12-2010, 07:47 AM
I'm expecting to see Gil posting on here later today. He had some meeting after work yesterday plus he's a little computer shy.

There's more old Nam Vets here than I thought! If you fellows got some picture from back then feel free to post them here. Is it just me or did those 40 years or so just fly past? It sure don't take long to become an oldman..........

Phil Dwyer
02-12-2010, 12:25 PM
Phil, That's a low blow........... :D


That's a rather petty comment coming from a guy with a "You'e gonna' die" look on his face holding that spear :eek::p:D

Ya, Ray plays kind of rough sometimes, but then I do tend to bring the best out in folks...or is that the worst? I forget. I'll have to ask my wife....no, maybe I better not!

We're looking forward to meeting you Gil...especially if you help us get Ray to post more pictures of his forging and knife building techniques!

Raymond Richard
02-12-2010, 12:55 PM
Ya, Ray plays kind of rough sometimes, but then I do tend to bring the best out in folks...or is that the worst? I forget. I'll have to ask my wife....no, maybe I better not!

We're looking forward to meeting you Gil...especially if you help us get Ray to post more pictures of his forging and knife building techniques!

Phil, I knew there was a catch Mister Niceguy. The plan is to get Gil out to my shop and teach him a thing or two. We'll probably start things off with a nice long nap. Something most old people are good at.....

Gil Brown
02-12-2010, 05:56 PM
Nice introduction Ray.

As Ray has said, we spent close to a year together in the Central Highlands in Vietnam and a short, scary stint in Cambodia. Now there's a vacation dream spot..........

We became close friends over there and lost track of each other until a short while ago. When we finally met after forty years it was like we never left each other. There is something to be said for the phrase "Band of Brothers".

For my birthday last year Ray gave me one of his infamous bowies and I gave him a hug.

I plan on flying out to Oregon and spending a week or two with my friend. Maybe some of his knife making magic will rub off on me. We do have plans of building a bunker out in back of his house while I am there. Now I just need a source for some concertina wire...............

Glad we are back together Ray. Welcome home grunt.............

Gil

Raymond Richard
02-12-2010, 06:03 PM
Gil, Glad you finally made! You'll get to handle the shovel when we start the bunker.:D I'm looking forward to when you make it out my way!

Eli Gautreaux
02-12-2010, 09:26 PM
Glad you made it in Gil. Be careful at Ray's place, he'll try to fatten you up before he teaches you to make knives. Oregon hospitality at it's finest!

Bruce Barnett
02-16-2010, 06:37 PM
Gday Gil and welcome from Down Under. Ya didnt happen to get loose in Sydney back then too did ya???

Cheers Bruce

Raymond Richard
05-22-2010, 09:00 AM
My Pal Gil has been here for a few days now. The plan was to spend some time in the shop but fishing was going to be the main coarse but due to Oregon's extreme springtime weather the fishing trip got canceled. Its turned back into winter at the higher elevations and flat out wet here at home.

Here's a couple action shots of Gil in my home away from home.

http://www.hawknknives.com/forums/IMG_2355.JPG

http://www.hawknknives.com/forums/IMG_2363.JPG

Denny Eller
05-22-2010, 11:17 AM
Great pictures, Ray. How's the bunker coming along? I think I can spare some concertina if you want to come and get it.

Eli Gautreaux
05-22-2010, 02:40 PM
I hope you two have an absolute blast togther in the shop. Who would have thought 40 years ago that you'd havethis time together in Oregon. I'm really happy for you guys.

And make sure you tour him around that beautiful countryside too.

James Terrio
05-22-2010, 03:13 PM
What a great thread!! Welcome home gentlemen, and thank you for your service.

Raymond Richard
05-22-2010, 04:13 PM
Great pictures, Ray. How's the bunker coming along? I think I can spare some concertina if you want to come and get it.

Denton, Its been to wet for bunker building so no need for the concentina wire. :D The plan was to be on a 3 day camping and fishing trip but the weather changed our minds. We've been working on a knife together to entertain ourselves. Should have something to share by tomorrow.

Eli, I've put over 600 miles on my truck since Gil has been here just showing him some of the sights. Had a great visit with Eric Wednesday. 3 old Vietnam Vets telling war stories. It was great! For a couple hours we were all kids again.

mofretwell
05-23-2010, 11:31 AM
Welcome Gil. You are so fortunate to have Ray as a friend; and vice versa. If you are a friend of Ray, you are good people. Hopefully we will meet sometime.

You are being taught bladesmithing by a really great guy. I don't know of any other forum where you will find such a wide range of discussions and such friendship.

Peter Killgore
05-23-2010, 01:18 PM
Welcome to the ranks of hammerheads Gil! You are most likely about to become hopelessly addicted. It'd be great to meet you someday. Maybe at an upcoming show. I'd also like to say thanks to both you and Ray for serving our country. My hat's off to you gentlemen.

Raymond Richard
05-24-2010, 08:46 AM
Here's the results of a fishing trip gone bad. One of Gil's goals for our visit was to make a knife while here so this is the fruits of our labor. Gil did a good amount of the forging and he also did all the hand rubbing of the blade. He wasn't planning on making a sheath for his knife but I suggested he should make one. I drew him a pattern and he did most the work on the rest of it. Gil's Knife has a 5 5/8" 1084 blade, some of the finest wrought iron wagon wheel was used for the fittings and it has a elk stag handle. Overall the knife is 9 5/8".

http://www.hawknknives.com/forums/IMG_2378.JPG

http://www.hawknknives.com/forums/IMG_2379.JPG

Here's a picture of two old shop trolls. I'm the better looking one. :D

http://www.hawknknives.com/forums/IMG_2375.JPG

Jeff Pearce
05-24-2010, 11:04 AM
Great looking knife . Looks like you and your buddy had a great time..

Peter Killgore
05-24-2010, 05:44 PM
That looks great! I wish my fishing trips that go bad would turn out like that.

Dusty One
05-28-2010, 09:15 AM
Ray its great you two got back together after all these years.
So now your going to turn Gil into a knife maker....Nice job !
All the best to you guy's............

Raymond Richard
05-28-2010, 12:03 PM
Ray its great you two got back together after all these years.
So now your going to turn Gil into a knife maker....Nice job !
All the best to you guy's............

Mark, I'd gotten an email from Gil yesterday saying he's looking for an anvil. He'll be retiring in June.

I think its pretty special locating him after almost 40 years of not seeing each other. About the only thing that changed is our looks.

Gil's the blond in the photo.

Lorien
05-28-2010, 05:56 PM
this is one of the best stories I've ever heard.
The addition of an anvil into Gil's life opens another new chapter, that I am looking forward to hearing about.

You're a real inspiration, Ray. For all the right reasons.2thumbs

Denny Eller
05-28-2010, 07:12 PM
From one bald head to two others, welcome home and thank you for your service.