Date: March 21, 2014
SUBJECT: CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT SERGEANT GARY BEIKIRCH TO SHARE HIS STORY OF VALOR
By: Charles Elliott
Sergeant Gary Beikirch, a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, will speak April 16, at 7 p.m., in the Jones Auditorium at C of O. He will share about his time in Vietnam and how his experiences shaped his life and inspired his work after his service in the military. From soldier to middle-school counselor for 33 years, he currently holds the position as Chaplain of the Congressional Medal of Honors Society.
SGT Beikirch embodies the military’s teaching of the value and significance of service to others above self. He believes his most personally satisfying contribution has been impacting and instilling the truth of this ideal in younger generations.
“I truly believe that every opportunity I share is a ‘door’ opened by God, and I use those opportunities to share how as a result of Vietnam, He became the most important thing in my life,” he said. “I also believe that it is only because of His grace that I am still alive, and that when I wear the Medal of Honor, I not only wear it for every man and woman who has ever served our nation, but more importantly, I wear it for His honor.”
SGT Beikirch served in the U.S. Army Special Forces during the height of the Vietnam War. Most distinguished for his performance during the defense of Camp Dak Seang, he is credited for saving the lives of many. For his heroic efforts, he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Bronze Star, Purple Heart (1 Oak Leaf Cluster), Combat Medic Badge, Vietnamese Jump Wings and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star.
Students are allowed priority seating for the event; remaining seats are available to the public free of charge. For more information, please contact the Public Relations office at (417) 690-2212.