BLAZE OF LIGHT MARCUS BROTHERTONFor fans of Unbroken and Hacksaw Ridge comes the powerful true story of a Medal of Honor recipient who faced more than his fair share of battles—and overcame them through perseverance and faith.
“What Gary Beikirch did to receive his medal is unforgettable—and the story of what he overcame afterward is as big and moving as they come.”—Gary Sinise
After dawn, the siege began. It was April 1, 1970, and Army Green Beret medic Gary Beikirch knew the odds were stacked against their survival. Some 10,000 enemy soldiers sought to obliterate the twelve American Special Forces troops and 400 indigenous fighters who stood fast to defend 2,300 women and children inside the village of Dak Seang. For his valor and selflessness during the ruthless siege, Beikirch would be awarded a Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest and most prestigious military decoration.
But Gary returned home wounded in body, mind, and soul, struggling with drug addiction. To overcome his addiction and find himself again, Gary retreated to a cave in the mountains of New England, where a redemptive encounter with God allowed Gary to find peace.
New York Times best-selling author Marcus Brotherton chronicles the incredible true story of a person who changed from lost to found. Gripping and unforgettable, and written with a rich and vivid narrative voice, Blaze of Light will inspire you to answer hurt with ingenuity, to reach for faith, and to find clarity and peace within any season of storm.
|A true story of Gary Beikirch and his actions as a Green Beret medic during Vietnam and for especially in April I 1970. That is when twelve Special Forces men along with 400 ARVIN fighters were to begin to hold off the initial attack of 10,000 Viet Cong, the battles later would be named the siege of Dak Seang and though it began on April 1, it would not be over until May 8th. By then over 2,800 fighter sorties had been flown, 154 gunships sorties were also flown, (though my cousin never talks about it I believe since he was a gunship helicopter pilot, he probably flew some of those he did two tours.) another 114 bombing sorties were flown plus over a hundred resupply sorties. You can see that this was an intense battle and though the battle was won by us it was fought in the highlands and this was where most of the Green Beret’s would go, to the Highlands set up camps and would fight and train the ingenious people to fight. Now they were protecting the village along with the 400 fighters alongside them.|
You are taken through the details of the battle and though he would be wounded his first thought was that of others and tending to their wounds and how to help others and not of himself. A very intense time yet you get the true meaning of his service and calling. He would be taken out when the first of the helicopters arrived when a landing zone was set up for extraction and dropping off ammo and other supplies. His wounds though treatable would take months to heal and the ones he fought in his mind would take years.
The story though begins with his early years and through his childhood and then up to his enlistment. He moves on to training and the different steps and training and qualifications and courses he had to pass in order to be a Green Beret. Even when he passed, he still did not know for sure that made it. This part of the story is equally truthful and yet shows you just how few make it through from the beginning. He would have months longer since he chose to be a medic and he could still be knocked out if he failed that. Once passed it was to more training until his deployment to Vietnam.
Once he was released from the hospital, he tells of how lost he was and how he made it to an uncle’s farm and then to a college. It is there that people would spit on him when they found out that he was a vet and served in Nam, I found this to be disgusting though I heard stories about this happening to servicemen coming home. Growing up in a military home and having lived with a WWI vet, and WWII and Korean vet, then an uncle and cousin who fought in Vietnam this just did not make sense to me. It was at these college years later that he is informed that he will be awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions that night. He like others does not think he did anything to be awarded this medal and this also affects his PTSD. It is also at this college town that he would find his wife and she would stick by him throughout his time working through his problems. It is the last part of the book where you see his life-changing and finally coming around for good. Overall, I found this to be an outstanding book and feel it an honor and privilege to have read about his life, I hope more people will read this book as well. I received this book from Netgalley.com I gave it 5 stars. follow us at www.1rad-readerreviews.com