BEEVILLE, Texas — A blacksmith and navy veteran in Beeville is quite the celebrity -- after competing on the History channel's Forged in Fire reality show.
The show puts some of the best blacksmiths head to head in a pretty intense race against time all to create some of history's most iconic edged weapons. Wednesday night, there was a watch party at the VFW post in Beeville -- to cheer on their hometown favorite, Jeremy Gonzales.
When he's not heating things up on national tv, you can find the self made blade smith hammering away in his Beeville garage-turned workshop.
Gonzalez said that his passion for being a blade smith was first ignited during his time at a PTSD treatment center in Bandera.
"Because I started my bladesmithing at warriors heart, its a huge part of my recovery and a huge part of my mental health," Gonzalez said. "If I get overwhelmed I come in the shop and I just physically take out my frustrations on the anvil, something functional and beautiful itself to show for it."
Gonzalez started his hobby turned profession with humble beginnings.
"My forge was very basic was actually a lawnmower deck, upside down, had an hairdryer feeding air to create enough heat in the forge," Gonzalez said.
Over time perfecting his sharp skills to create some pretty amazing knives, and eventually individuals started to take notice.
"Couldn't keep a knife on me, I'd make a knife carry it, wear it around, everyone would see it and want it, couldn't keep my own knives, everyone wanted to buy one, maybe I'm on something here," Gonzalez said.
What Gonzalez didn't know is that his dream of competing among the best of the best was about to come true. After reaching out to the show Forged in Fire, his dream finally became a reality.
"The whole process was about six months from sending that first email to flying up to Connecticut to film," Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez was actually featured in a special episode that would have him compete against two other peers with the winner going up against a judge who has never been beaten.
"Its a very humbling experience, I made mistakes just like everyone else on the show," Gonzalez said. "Of course watching from home you're like why would you do that every day in the shop, you have all the time in the world, on this show its timed."
Gonzalez said he enjoyed his time on the show and was appreciative of all the support he had received.
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