Joseph D HayesSpecialist Four
COMPANY "N", 75TH INFANTRY (RANGERS), 173 ABN BDE
Army of the United States
16 December 1949 - 13 June 1971
Panel 03W Line 074
The database page for Joseph D Hayes
Joseph ("Jay") D. Hayes
Jay was my best friend. We spent countless hours together from the age of 12 until he went into the Army; within a year of his entry into the Service, I would be drafted. He began his tour in Vietnam on July 27, 1970, and I entered Vietnam on May 6, 1971-- just 38 days before he was killed in action.
To become a hero had always been Jay's goal in life. He loved the military and idolized a cousin who had become a colonel in the Green Berets. Initially, he was ruled "4-F" because of a childhood accident, and was unable to join the Army. However, that would not stop his quest to serve his country in time of need. He urged his doctor to issue a medical release that would allow him to enlist, and so his journey to glory resumed.
Funny thing, that road to glory! Somehow we presume that we will live to enjoy the accolades of those whom we love, and we overlook the fact that the price of glory may be the ultimate price. Nevertheless, those of us who knew Jay well believe that the potential sacrifice of his life would not have deterred him in the least from making his choice to serve God and country. Indeed - Jay reached his goal. He is memorialized forever with those who bled and died in the War that we weren't allowed to win.
Rest in Peace, my friend, forever enshrined in the cold, black granite of Panel #03W - Row #074.
From a friend,
I served in November Company with Jay.
I went to school with Jay Hayes at Weed High School. He was 2 years ahead of me in school. We ended up being real good friends. We hung out at the Weed Theatre quite a bit. We'd sit together and he'd tell me all of his girl problems. I remember Jay being all excited about joining the service and going to Vietnam. I kept saying to him "I think it's great that you want to join but are you sure you want to go now?" He kept saying "I want to go now and I'm really excited about it". I supported Jay. He was so enthused about going. Of course I was scared too because of all the boys that were getting killed in Vietnam. I had a cousin that was killed in 1968 and he was 23 when he was killed. But I was so proud of Jay. It's what he really wanted to do.
I remember it getting close to time for him to leave. I gave him a great big hug and wished him a lot of luck. When I found out he didn't make it I was so crushed. Like I said we were pretty good friends and we hung out a little at the theatre and we talked a lot about a lot of things. I really missed him a lot. I still think a lot about Jay.
Jay, you were a great guy and great friend. You are definitely missed by a lot of people. We will never, ever forget you.
From a friend always,
Joseph Hayes was a member of my team.
From a team mate,
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 6 Mar 2002
Last updated 02/22/2008