- NATO Kosovo Force
- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Freedom’s Sentinel
- Operation Inherent Resolve
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Operation New Dawn
- Operation Octave Shield
- Operation Odyssey Lightning
- Operation Spartan Shield
- Task Force Sinai
- U.S. Africa Command Operations
- U.S. Central Command operations
- The People Behind The Sacrifice
Army Capt. Bruce E. Hays
Died September 17, 2008 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom
42, of Cheyenne, Wyo.; assigned to the Wyoming Joint Forces Headquarters, Wyoming Army National Guard, Cheyenne, Wyo.; died Sept. 17 in Gerdia Seria, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device. Also killed was Sgt. Joshua W. Harris, 1st Lt. Mohsin A. Naqvi and Staff Sgt. Jason A. Vazquez.
Wyoming Guard officer killed in Afghanistan
The Associated Press
CHEYENNE, Wyo. — A Cheyenne man serving in the Wyoming Army National Guard has been killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, the Army said Monday.
Capt. Bruce E. Hays, 42, a member of a military transition team from Fort Riley, Kan., and three other soldiers died Sept. 17 when their vehicle was blown up by a roadside bomb.
Hays was a field artillery officer serving on a military transition team assigned to the 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division. To date, 156 Fort Riley servicemembers have died while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“This is a tragedy that touched all of us in the Wyoming National Guard. Capt. Hays was a member of our own family,” said Maj. Gen. Ed Wright, Wyoming’s adjutant general, in a news release.
Col. Greg Porter, who supervised Hays when he worked in information technology at the Cheyenne base, called Hays an outstanding officer. “He was very smart on the IT systems,” Porter said.
Porter said Hays also knew field artillery thoroughly and took on many other challenging assignments in his more than 17 years of service.
Hays worked in the 148th Signal Corps in Laramie and commanded between 100 and 150 soldiers in the Wyoming Army National Guard’s C Battery, 2nd Battalion, 300th Field Artillery, in Worland.
Hays first enlisted in the Army in 1984, took a break, then joined the Wyoming Army National Guard in May 2000. He completed officer-candidate school and became a lieutenant in November 2000.
Hays is the first Wyoming National Guard soldier killed in Afghanistan. He was part of a training team mentoring Afghanistan forces in policing. Hays had arrived in Afghanistan in mid-August. Funeral services are pending.
The Department of Defense identified the three other soldiers who died in the attack as: Sgt. Joshua W. Harris, 21, of Romeoville, Ill.; 1st Lt. Mohsin A. Naqvi, 26, of Newburgh, N.Y.; and Staff Sgt. Jason A. Vazquez, 24, of Chicago, Ill.
Governor honors soldier killed in Afghanistan
The Associated Press
SANTA FE, N.M. — Gov. Bill Richardson has ordered flags to be lowered to half-staff in honor of a Army National Guard officer with ties to New Mexico who was killed in Afghanistan.
Capt. Bruce E. Hays, 42, was killed Sept. 17 when a vehicle he was in was hit by a roadside bomb. He was an active duty member of the Wyoming National Guard.
The California native graduated in 1984 from Capitan High School.
After joining the Army and serving in Desert Storm, Hays graduated from New Mexico State University in 1996.
He also worked at White Sands Missile Range.
He is survived by his wife, Marie Hays, and two daughters in Alamogordo.
Wyoming Guard soldier honored in Casper ceremony
The Associated Press
CASPER, Wyo. — The first Wyoming National Guard soldier killed in Afghanistan was honored in a ceremony in Casper.
Forty-two-year-old Army National Guard Capt. Bruce Hays, of Cheyenne, was killed Sept. 17 in an attack on his vehicle by a roadside bomb.
Hays was remembered Thursday as dedicated to his family. He is survived by his wife, Marie “Terri” Hays, and daughters Bethany and Eleanor, who live in New Mexico.
Col. Greg Porter, chief of staff for the Army and Air Guard, worked with Hays for five years. Porter says his emotions ranged from sadness to pride — pride that the country is capable of producing a soldier of Hays’ caliber.
“He was a great soldier and a great leader. We’ll miss him very much.”
A letter by Lt. Col. Raymond M. Kent was read at the service. Kent wrote that Hays was a family man who was admired by his fellow soldiers.
“Bruce would keep us up at night in the barracks as he talked and played chess with his 10-year-old daughter Bethany over the wireless Internet and webcam,” Kent wrote.
Hays also would talk to his younger daughter, Eleanor, and wife before signing off for the night. Kent wrote that Hays used the webcam at the same time every evening and usually spent an hour or more chatting with his family.
“No one complained, though,” Kent wrote. “Bruce was so genuine and real with his love for his family, we all just kept quiet so as not to disturb the magic that was going on.”
After joining the Army and serving in Desert Storm, he graduated from New Mexico State University in 1996. He also worked at New Mexico’s White Sands Missile Range.
Hays was a member of a Wyoming Army National Guard military transition team that was stationed at Fort Riley, Kan. Team members prepare small teams of U.S. soldiers, airmen and sailors to advise, teach and mentor their Iraqi or Afghan counterparts.
Army Capt. Bruce E. Hays remembered
The Associated Press
Col. Greg Porter, chief of staff for the Army and Air Guard, said Bruce E. Hays was very quiet and soft spoken.
“A good person. A good man. A good soldier,” Porter said.
Hays, 42, of Cheyenne, Wyo., was killed Sept. 17 by a roadside bomb in Gerdia Seria. He graduated from high school in New Mexico in 1984 and was assigned to Cheyenne.
He joined the Army after graduating and served for eight years, including service in Desert Storm. Hays then went on to attend New Mexico State University, during which he worked at the Army Research Lab at White Sands Missile Range.
He graduated in 1996 and went on to work as a surveyor with the USDA Soil Service. Hays was an active duty member of the Army National Guard of Wyoming at the time of this death.
“He was very well-respected and known throughout the organization as highly technical and competent. And perhaps more importantly, a very decent person who exemplified the army values of honor, integrity and service,” said Brig. Gen. Olin Oedekoven.
Hays is survived by his wife, Marie, and his children, Bethany Hays, Eleanor Hays, John Vance III, Alfonso Vance and Genevieve Vance.