Ron Gilbert



Vietnam June 1969 Ė June 1970


On arrival to Vietnam I was assigned to the CLSU in Long Binh.  After two months I was reassigned to the 2nd CLSU after laughing at the First Sergeant in formation and for knocking down a chin-up bar put up to (I thought) torment me.  Leaving Long Binh was like being released from prison, and being assigned to the 2nd CLSU was like arriving in the promised land.  I was greeted with whiskey and coke and a game of poker.  Thank you Dennis Beer. 


I returned home to a rather cold and unfriendly greeting in San Francisco, but in Portland by an excited and relieved family and future wife, Kathy.  After the 30-day leave I bought a VW bug and drove to Ft. Hood, Texas, to complete my obligation.  My time there was spent on flag duty, trying to learn to stay in step without much success.  They didnít have any openings in the crypto department and basically didnít have anything for me to do.  I spent much of the time on extended passes in Waco, Austin, San Antonio, and several trips into Mexico.  I took early release for school and tried college.  That didnít work out.  In April of 1971 Kathy and I were married.  We bought motorcycles, moved out to the country in a single-wide trailer, and enjoyed ourselves.  Our unemployment ran out in the Fall, we moved back to Portland, and Kathy started working in medical transcription, I for my dad.  Things were rocky for a few years but eventually smoothed out, and we had a daughter, Melisa, in 1976.  Our son was born in 1980, and shortly after we moved out to ten acres in the hills about an hour from Portland, traded our motorcycles for horses.  Kathy taught me medical transcription and we started our own business.  We spent our time riding horses on BLM land that surrounded our place, and on long weekends and vacations rode the Pacific Crest Trail in the High Cascades of Oregon and Washington. 


At the age of 50, with our children grown and out of the house, we realized that play time was over and we needed to start doing something about retirement.  We moved back to Portland, expanded our transcription service, and buckled down to work and saving money.  I also got introduced to the stock market and have been obsessed with it since, so far so good.


We spend our off time working in the garden, I cook, Kathy cleans, camping in the mountains when weather permits, and enjoying being new grandparents. 


Below are pictures of my wife and daughter, and my father, son, grandson and me.  Melisa works as a librarian for the Colorado State Corrections Department and Lee is a police officer in Redmond, Oregon.