Gary B. Beikirch
Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient
Sergeant, U.S. Army Company B, 5th Special Forces Group, Airborne
1st Special Forces
Gary Beikirch enlisted in the Army in August of 1967 after completing two years of college in upstate New York. He completed basic and Infantry training at Fort Dix, New Jersey and was selected for Special Forces (Green Beret) training. After completion of Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia, he continued on to Fort Bragg, North Carolina for Special Forces training, completing phases 1 and 2 of the Special Forces course as well as phases 1 and 2 of medical training. He served with the 3rd, 5th, and 10th Special Forces Groups as a Medical and Light Weapons Specialist.
Gary deployed as part of the 5th Special Forces Group in the summer of 1969 to the Kontum Province of Vietnam. During his deployment, SGT Beikirch was assigned as the team medic to the remote Montagnard village of Dak Seang in the Central Highlands near the border of Laos. On April 1, 1970, a massive force of North Vietnamese troops attacked the camp resulting in high American and Montagnard casualties. Ignoring his own personal safety and suffering multiple wounds in combat, SGT Beikirch rescued numerous American, Vietnamese, and Montagnard casualties. For his actions during the battle of Dak Seang, SGT Beikirch was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor on 15 October 1973.
Upon completion of his military service, Gary attended White Mountain Seminary and was ordained through the United Baptist Fellowship in 1975. He also continued his civilian education earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology/Psychology from the University of New Hampshire, and a Masters of Science Degree in Educational Counseling from the State University of New York in Brockport. His career experience includes: hospital and prison ministry, youth ministry, a team counselor and former Executive Director of the Veterans Outreach Center and most recently serves as the Chaplain for the Medal of Honor Society. He has also recently retired after having served as a middle school counselor in Rochester, NY for over 33 years. He now spends his time traveling and speaking to our military, veterans, community and school groups with his message of making a difference in the lives of others…living a life of significance.
SGT Beikirch’s military awards and decorations include the Congressional Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Bronze Star, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star, Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster, Combat Medic Badge, American and Vietnamese Airborne Wings.
Gary currently resides in Rochester, NY with his wife, Loreen. They have 3 children Stephanie, Stephen, and Sarah as well as 14 grandchildren.