ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Local war hero, who received the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Vietnam War, Gary Beikirch has died at the age of 74.
Beikirch was in at-home hospice care for the last few weeks, and his daughter, Stephanie Lynn Simmerli said that her father died on Sunday afternoon after a battle with cancer.
Beikirch was a medic in the Vietnam War, and he received the Medal of Honor for treating wounded soldiers in 1970 while also fighting off the North Vietnamese, despite being wounded himself.
He was presented the Medal of Honor by President Richard Nixon on October 15, 1973.
Beikirch was honored locally last May by Monroe County, as a portion of Highland Park was renamed the “Gary Beikirch Memorial Park” near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
“It’s a simple phrase; there’s only two words,” he said last May. “But the words mean so much, especially to the men and women coming home after serving our country.”
During the ceremony, Beikirch said he wants visitors to remember more than just the one name that is depicted on the sign — he wants people to see a sign that says “welcome home.”