An Inspiration During a Challenging Time
During this time of pandemic crisis, it is imperative that we look to our nation's heroes as examples of courage and selflessness, as this is a time when our thoughts and actions must be for the well-being of others as well as ourselves. One such Special Forces hero is Medal of Honor Recipient Gary Beikirch.
As stated in the article by Marcus Brotherton linked below, "A 50-year-old battle in Vietnam holds lessons about sacrifice and endurance for a nation locked down during the coronavirus pandemic." The battle being referred to is the Siege of Dak Seang. This attack on an indigenous village, located very close to the Ho Chi Minh Trail, in Vietnam lasted 38 long days.
The then 22-year-old Gary Beikirch served as a Special Forces Medic during this siege. He, along with the 11 other members of his Special Forces Team, had been sent to Dak Seang to advise, protect, and train over 400 fighters and over 2,300 civilians of the oppressed tribe.
The village was brutally attacked by the Viet Cong beginning on April 1, 1970. Beikirch, despite being critically wounded by multiple bullets and shrapnel, continued to administer vital medical care to all those he could. When he became temporarily paralysed from the waist down, and could no longer move his legs, he reached out to his two helpers and said the selfless and courageous words: "Carry me."
Beikirch, half paralyzed and severely wounded, was brought all across the raging battlefield to treat the injured until he lost consciousness. His thoughts and actions, during a time of intense peril, were only for those around him, and what he could do to help them. His story of absolute selfless courage remains an inspiration to us all.
For more details on this incredible man's story, and his return to the United States, read the article linked here.
For an even more in-depth biography of Gary Beikirch, read Blaze of Light by Marcus Brotherton.