Today we honor the memory of Medal of Honor recipient Green Beret Gary Beikirch who passed away today at 74.
Beikirch was a medical aidman with the U.S. Army, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for valorous action while serving with Detachment B-24, Company B, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, on April 1, 1970. The group was stationed at Camp Dak Seang in Vietnam’s Kontum Province when the enemy attacked along the Laotion border.
“During the intense firefight that ensued, Beikirch repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire and mortars to treat the injured and dying and carry them back to shelter, ignoring his own wounds,” a press release stated.
According to his citation, Beikirch ran multiple times into the line of fire to retrieve the bodies of fallen comrades. Despite being wounded by mortar shell fragments, he searched and cared for other casualties until he became incapacitated.
“Pairs of Montagnard troops helped him reach the wounded when it became too difficult to move under his own command,” the release noted. “He continued aiding others until he collapsed and was immediately medevacked from the area.”
After being discharged in 1971, Beikirch went on to pursue higher education, becoming a veterans’ counselor and a middle school guidance counselor, the release said.
President Richard M. Nixon awarded Beikirch with the Medal of Honor on Oct. 15, 1973
Sergeant Beikirch’s Act of Heroism
Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Beikirch, medical aidman, Detachment B-24, Company B, distinguished himself during the defense of Camp Dak Seang. The allied defenders suffered a number of casualties as a result of an intense, devastating attack launched by the enemy from well-concealed positions surrounding the camp. Sgt. Beikirch, with complete disregard for his personal safety, moved unhesitatingly through the withering enemy fire to his fallen comrades, applied first aid to their wounds and assisted them to the medical aid station. When informed that a seriously injured American officer was lying in an exposed position, Sgt. Beikirch ran immediately through the hail of fire. Although he was wounded seriously by fragments from an exploding enemy mortar shell, Sgt. Beikirch carried the officer to a medical aid station. Ignoring his own serious injuries, Sgt. Beikirch left the relative safety of the medical bunker to search for and evacuate other men who had been injured. He was again wounded as he dragged a critically injured Vietnamese soldier to the medical bunker while simultaneously applying mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to sustain his life. Sgt. Beikirch again refused treatment and continued his search for other casualties until he collapsed. Only then did he permit himself to be treated. Sgt. Beikirch’s complete devotion to the welfare of his comrades, at the risk of his life are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
The Giant Killer book details the incredible life of the smallest soldier, Green Beret Captain Richard Flaherty along with the harrowing stories from the men of the 101st Airborne in Vietnam. The Giant Killer FB page honors these incredible war heroes making sure their stories of valor and sacrifice are never forgotten. God Bless our Vets! Available now on Amazon & Walmart.
Story by Sarah Sicard