Resilience Forge NC in the Brushy Mountain community is offering a three-day, hands-on introduction to bladesmithing and related crafts at no charge to veterans.

The event is Friday through Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, at Resilience Forge NC’s new 6,000-square-foot building at 4971 Brushy Mountain Road. There is a $35 fee for non-veterans to participate.

The focus Friday is on forging knives, with experienced instructors on hand to assist participants. Kyle Gahagan, founder of Resilience Forge NC, will discuss the fit and finish of the handle on Saturday. Participants will be allowed additional time on forges Sunday to complete knives and discuss questions with bladesmiths.

Resilience Forge NC draws veterans from several states for bladesmithing instruction and experiential learning. Gahagan holds doctorate degrees in education and psychology and provides counseling services as it seems appropriate. He works with doctors and rehabilitative specialists to help ensure veterans recovering from injuries benefit from the program physically.

In addition to providing bladesmith therapy to fellow veterans, Gahagan is recognized among high-end knife collectors for his hand-forged steel knives and other blades. He was deployed twice to Iraq and twice to Afghanistan during a five-year stint in the 1st Army Ranger Battalion. He has extensive combat experience as a light infantry team leader and squad automatic weapon gunner.

Land was secured and the new building was constructed for Resilience Forge NC through donations. Gahagan said about 1,500 square feet will be used for restrooms, offices and counseling areas. The remainder will be dedicated to forging and shaping metal and fitting and finishing, all aspects of bladesmith therapy.

Veterans and others wishing to participate in the event Friday through Sunday are asked to RSVP at kylegahagan78@yahoo.com to ensure there are enough materials. Veterans are asked to bring proper identification.

Water and drinks will be available for purchase. There will also be an auction for donated items as well as other items available for purchase. All proceeds will go to Resilience Forge NC. The event will adhere to the social distancing guidelines.

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