Old 02-02-2004, 08:12   #1
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Sgt. Gary B. Beikirch

SPECIAL FORCES MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENTS
BEIKIRCH, GARY B.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company B, 5th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces.

Place and date: Kontum Province, Republic of Vietnam, 1 April 1970.

Entered service at: Buffalo, N.Y.

Born: 29 August 1947, Rochester, N.Y.



Citation: 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.

-----

A salute to a fine Soldier and outstanding American. Thank you for your service Sgt. Beikirch.

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Old 02-02-2004, 08:16   #2
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Old 02-02-2004, 13:36   #3
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Blue skies:

Rest In Peace:

Terry
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Old 02-02-2004, 16:38   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by CPTAUSRET
Blue skies:

Rest In Peace:

Terry
Did he pass away recently? I saw a picture of him in "The Drop" Fall 2003 on SFA 64.
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Old 02-02-2004, 19:59   #5
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Um, he's alive.

http://www.cmohs.org/recipients/living_cites_ab.htm

Jennifer Martinez sends
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Old 02-02-2004, 20:30   #6
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Gary Beikirch & Roger Donlon
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Old 02-03-2004, 02:53   #7
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Sgt. Biekirch is very alive and very well... This is a tribute to him for ignoring himself and doing everything he was trained to do AND more. He kept going until his body quit on him. You can not ask for more, except the life of a soldier carrying out his deed. I am proud to salute this fine American and Soldier. Sgt. Biekirch, you have set the standard.

His name came up in coversation with someone who trained with him in SA before orders were issued. Almost every man in that group earned a citation for something extraordinary. Sgt. B was the exception that proved the rule.

Those that are willing to put everything on the line are those that we all aspire to be. Reading all of these citiations here resonate the same. Extraordinary Americans who laid it all out to be the best they can and to defend our nation the best they knew how.

Sgt. Beikirch, I salute you Sgt. What you have done assures that we have the freedom we have today. Thank you, Sgt.

Ian
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Old 02-03-2004, 11:36   #8
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Thank you for the link and pic, Jenn.
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Old 05-23-2012, 21:09   #9
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SGT Gary Beikirch's testimony

This is a track that Gary Beikirch has published and distributes. I have received verbal permission from him to post this here.

For His Honor

On April 1, 1970...I almost lost my life.

On July 2, 1972...I found eternal life.

On October 15, 1973...my country said I was a hero...but I knew the truth.

Once a man of war...

Now a man of God.

This is the Testimony of Gary Beikirch.



I would like to share with you two of the most significant experiences in my life. My experiences in Vietnam taught me life-changing lessons: How precious life

is...how frightening death is...and how important God is to both life and death. After being med-evaced from Vietnam, wounded three times, and spending almost a year

in the hospital, I was left with questions that I could not answer an anger I could not control, and a guilt that almost destroyed me. What I needed was my second

experience.


Two years after leaving Vietnam, a friend shared with me a simple but powerful message: God loved me.... He had forgiven me because His Son, Jesus Christ, died

for me. He wanted me to receive His Gift of love and eternal life. He wanted me to begin to live for Him and fulfill the unique purpose He had planned for my life. God

has allowed me to wear the Medal of Honor for only one reason: to share with others the love He has shown to me and the world through His Son, Jesus Christ. 'To really

live you must almost die. To those who fight for it...life has a meaning...the protected will never know!' (Sign in Special Forces team house in Vietnam.) War and

death, but more importantly, the love of God has taught me that life does have a very special meaning. May your life find meaning in the life and love of Jesus Christ


CITATION
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 Dek 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.


FOR HIS HONOR
April 1st, 1970...over thirty years ago but I can still hear the screams, the explosions, the gunfire. April Fools day...if only it could have been a joke...but it was

not. It was painfully real.


I was a member of a Green Beret Special Forces A Team in Vietnam. Our peaceful Montagnard jungle camp was surrounded by 3 North Vietnamese regiments. Inside the camp

of Dak Seang were 12 Americans and 2,300 Montagnard villagers, mostly women and children. It is still their screams and lifeless bodies that I remember even today.


Artillery and rockets began pounding the camp in the early morning and continued for hours. Then the "human wave" assault of ground troops began. Our jungle home had

become a scene of horror, terror, and death.


Running across an open area, I saw a wounded Montagnard (we affectionately called them "Yards") lying on the ground. As I was trying to bandage his wounds, I heard

"it" coming, like a diesel train...more artillery...maybe a 122mm rocket. As I threw my body over the wounded man to shield him from the explosion, I felt like I had

been kicked in the back by a horse. Shrapnel from the blasts slammed into my back and abdomen. The concussion from the blast threw me about 25 feet into a wall of

sandbags by our mortar pit. I tried to get up but could not move my legs. I remember laughing and thinking to myself, "Well, at least I'm alive...and hey!...there's a

Purple Heart." I looked back to see what had happened to the "Yard" I had covered and all that was left was pieces...the explosion had torn him apart. How? Why? I was

lying on top of him. Why was I still alive? These questions would plague me for years, but at that moment there was too much to do.


Two other "Yards" suddenly appeared and picked me up. They wanted to take me to the underground medical bunker but I yelled "No!! We've got things to do up here." For

hours they carried bodies, distributed ammo, directed fire and fought for our lives. As I continued to lose blood, I was getting weaker. Also, by this time, I was

wounded two more times. I finally lost consciousness. When I awoke I realized that they had taken me to the underground medical bunker. Pat, a new medic in camp said,

"Man, you're hurt bad. We got to get you out of here." I screamed out to my "Yards": "Get me out of here. If I am going to die, I am not going to die down here." A

year of living with these "Yards" had developed a strong bond of love and trus between us. It was this bond that made them pick me up and carry me back out into the

battle.

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Old 05-23-2012, 21:10   #10
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SGT Gary Beikirch's testimony continued

As the battle raged on, my two "Yard" friends carried me for hours, taking me where I directed them, helping me care for the wounded, shielding me, protecting me,

holding me up as we continued to fight. Later, I would again be plagued by the questions of, "Why did they carry me all that time? Why did they stay with me?" They

never left my side. What made their love for me so strong that they were willing to give their lives for me? One was killed as he covered me from an explosion.


At some point, I finally collapsed and was unable to go on. From here on my personal memories are a swirling stream of sporadic events...watching med-evac choppers

being shot down as they tried to get me out...strong arms reaching down and pulling me into the safety of a chopper, the face of the young medic shocked at seeing that

I was still alive, but telling me I was going to be OK, being thrown onto a litter and rushed into an operating room, IVs in my arms and neck, catheters in every

opening of my body, lights, shouting, and then...darkness.


I awoke not knowing how long I had been unconscious. I did a quick self exam..unable to move from my waist down (the blast had temporarily paralyzed me), tremendous

pain in my abdomen...what was that on my stomach? My large intestine was in a plastic bag (shrapnel had perforated it and a large part of it was removed). More tubes

were in my body...one through my nose and into my stomach...my stomach! Why did it hurt so? I looked down and realized it had been ripped open and was now sutured back

together. Then darkness...I was once again unconscious. These periods of being "in and out of consciousness" continued...each time bringing new awareness of my

inability to win this battle with "Death." Once, I came to, and watched as an Australian advisor fought for his last breath and lost. As they pulled the sheet over his

head, I began drifting into unconsciousness and wondered if this was MY death.


I awoke once again but this time my waking moments were spent battling with the deaths of so many of my friends: the "Yard" I covered with my body, the one who carried

me for hours...Why am I still alive and they are not? God, I feel so guilty, so helpless, so angry.


Days passed as I continued to "come and go." One day I awoke and there was a chaplain standing by the next bed praying with a young dying soldier. He turned and saw my

open eyes. He handed me a cross and said, "Glad to see you're awake. I've been praying for you a couple of days. Would you like to pray?" My answer to his question was

a pleading, "I don't know how." He simply and confidently replied, "That's okay, God knows how to listen." My prayer was a simple one: "God I don't know if you're

real. I don't know if you're here, but I'm scared and I need You."


Right then something happened...no flashes of light, no miraculous physical healing, no visions, but a very real Peace, a comfort, a "Knowing" that there was Someone

outside of myself greater than my pain, greater than my fear, greater than Death...there was Someone who had heard my prayer and wanted me to know that I was loved and

not alone.


The next two years were spent searching to find out more about this Presence, the God who had touched my life. I left the Army and traveled around the

country...through Canada...I studied different philosophies, different religions, searching for ways that might lead me once again to that Peace I had found in

Vietnam, the lessons it had taught me, the questions it had left with me, and my efforts to find God. He listened and told me there is no mystery to finding God. He

then asked me to do him a favor and read a book. He handed me a New Testament.


As I began to read the Gospels my "eyes" and my heart began to open. I then read the words spoken by Jesus in John 14 and 15 as if they were spoken to me..."Let not

your heart be troubled, Gary. You believe in God, believe also in Me. I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man cometh to the Father but by Me....as the Father

hath loved Me so hace I loved you, Gary...greater love hath no man than this...that a man lay down his life for his friends...I have given my life for you, Gary. You

are my friend." As I continued to read, I knew that this Jesus was the One I had met in the hospital bed in Vietnam. On July 2, 1972, I knelt and accepted Jesus Christ

as my Lord and Savior.


After my discharge from the Army, I had planned on going to medical school. However, once I started walking with my new "Friend," Jesus, I believed He had different

plans for me. I grabbed my backpack, my Bible, and headed for Florida. For months I walked the beaches, read my Bible, and asked God what He wanted me to do. His

answer was... "Serve Me."


In September of 1973, I entered the seminary, dedicating my life to serving the God who had given me His life. One night a few weeks later I received a phone call from

Washington D.C. asking me to come to the White House to be presented with the Congressional Medal of Honor by President Nixon. Coincidence? I do not believe in

coincidences any more...not when you are walking with God. I remembered a verse from John 15..."Gary, you have not chosen Me, but I have chosen Me, but I have chosen

you and ordained you that should go and bring forth fruit." I was sure God had a plan and I was excited to be a part of it, however, among many other emotions I was

also very confused. I knew I was not worthy of such an honor, but as I continued to look to Him for reasons and answers I began to understand that He allowed me to be

presented with this Medal, NOT because of anything I had done. I only did what I was trained to do...it was my duty. No, it was not about what I had done...BUT what He

had done. What He had done in my life and wants to do in the lives of others. It was given to me not to honor me, but so that I could honor Him.


God does have a plan and a purpose for our lives, and although there is no mystery to finding Him, at times it is a mystery to walk with Him. It wasn't easy at first.

Even now there are times when I fail to trust His love completely, but then I remember my two "Yard" friends who loved me, protected me, and carried me when I couldn't

walk. If I could trust them with my life, why shouldn't I be able to trust Jesus? Shouldn't you?


So each day I trust and walk humbly with Him, telling others about His Love...and I wear the Medal of Honor...For His Honor.

-Gary Beikirch
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"Nothing is more dangerous than an NCO or Officer who has been taught a technique or method, but doesn't understand the underlying principles or the "why" behind it." -MtnGoat

"How can someone improve their ability to lead? Die to self.

The most rewarding thing a leader will receive is having someone place their life in your hands and say, I will follow you." -SGT Gary Beikirch

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Old 05-24-2012, 02:46   #11
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Gone,but not forgotten.


www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wn_iz8z2AGw - Cached

God Bless,Rest in Peace Warrior.....

He was just a simple soldier and his ranks are growing thin
But his presence should remind us; we may need his like again,
For when countries are in conflict, then we find the soldier's part
Is to clean up all the troubles that the politicians start.
If we cannot do him honor while he's here to hear the praise,
Then at least let's give him homage at the ending of his days.......

Perhaps just a simple headline in the paper that might say:
OUR COUNTRY IS IN MOURNING, FOR A SOLDIER DIED TODAY. (author unknown)

The passing of our soldiers often go unnoticed and unsung by most of the world, remembered only by family and friends. Wish it were not so. May he RIP, his family will be in my thoughts and prayers.........

I realize it's a Canadian song,however I believe most appropriate for this occasion..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrkgV5bl7kQ

Big Teddy
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SF is a calling and it requires commitment and dedication that the uninitiated will never understand......
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Old 05-24-2012, 05:34   #12
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I do not think he has passed. He lives 20 miles from me and I have not heard that. Will try to contact him asap.

He was at work today. All good.
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Old 05-26-2012, 17:43   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Destrier View Post
I do not think he has passed. He lives 20 miles from me and I have not heard that. Will try to contact him asap.

He was at work today. All good.
Had to rush to the computer to make sure I remembered that correctly upon finding his name in something else. Thanks.
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Old 12-26-2021, 16:31   #14
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He passed earlier today in hospice care at home with family.

Pancreatic cancer.

Rest In Peace.
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"Nothing is more dangerous than an NCO or Officer who has been taught a technique or method, but doesn't understand the underlying principles or the "why" behind it." -MtnGoat

"How can someone improve their ability to lead? Die to self.

The most rewarding thing a leader will receive is having someone place their life in your hands and say, I will follow you." -SGT Gary Beikirch
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