In response to your letter dated June 9 , 2005 , regarding your search for Lorne R. Nichol, USAF Sentry Dog Handler at U- Tapao Royal Thai Air Base in 1971-72.
Your search has found the right Lome R. Nichol, but I am sorry to inform you that my brother passed away in November of 1999, from complications with Diabetes. He died in Denver, Colorado and had a military burial outside of Atlanta, Georgia, where he was buried next to our father.
On many occasions over the years, my brother talked about the time he spent with his fellow handlers in Thailand, and, that he looked back with great affection and pride. I know he considered that time as one of the highlights of his life, and was very proud and honored to have served.
In closing, I would like to extend my deepest appreciation and thanks to all of the Handlers in the Unit. I hope that each man in the Unit has been afforded the best that life has to offer, and that they so rightly deserve.
With My Deepest Admiration For All Of You,
Kenneth J. Nichol
2553 S. Cherokee St.
Denver, Colorado 80223
Nick had one of the strangest abilities I have ever seen or heard of called “gleeking”. I am sure others can do it, but I have never seen it since I knew Nick. Some how he could shoot spit like it was shot from a water pistol! He didn’t have to hold his mouth open but a crack, and he could aim this stream of spit with deadly accuracy. This stream of spit would shoot 6- 8 feet across a room. I tell ya’ll this as a preface to the story I am going to pass on about Nick.
Nick also had a sense of humor that would crack me up, but he would never even smile about some of the things he came up with. One of the house girls (P-loom) in our barracks was really cute. I think Nick kind of liked her. Nick would sit with Mama-san and Ploom as they did the boots in the hallway. He had them convinced that he could call on a ghost that would spray water on things he liked. Most Thai’s really believe in ghosts and spirits can be good or bad. Nick had them believing he could call this good ghost friend of his and have him spray water at any time anywhere. As Nick would sit there and talk to them, he would tell them when his friend was coming around, then he would start shooting his endless water gun.
He could talk, eat, drink, do whatever and still right in the middle of all that he could give you a shot of spit too. It was so fast, if you didn’t sit and watch him do it, you would miss it all. He would have the poor house girls going crazy with his water show. I would be rolling laughing at him and his performance! He would also do this little trick on a baht bus, in a bar, he would shoot you anywhere, anytime.
He also loved the movie house in Ban Chang. We would go watch the “One-armed Swordsman”. They had special effects long before the current movies even thought about them. Nick would break out his “water gun “ sometimes during the movie. Don’t think he ever shot the Thai’s, but he would get the GI’s. Then he would act as though he was wiping the water off his neck or face like he got shot too. It’s a wonder we didn’t get our asses kicked, but it was just so funny that he could do this and he never got caught at it.
One of the driest senses of humor in the world…..one hell of a friend and a fun person to be around. I am sure there are no words that can ease the loss to his family. Nick will live forever as long as we keep him in our hearts and thoughts. I am sure he is driving the folks in heaven crazy with his “water pistol”.