Hayes, Michael R. (P3, C1, L15)
Specialist Michael Ray Hayes, 29, of Morgantown, Butler County, Kentucky, was killed on 14 June 2005 near Baghdad, Iraq when insurgents fired on their armored Humvee with a rocket-propelled grenade. Hayes was on federal active duty with the Bowling Green detachment of the 617th Military Police Company. Hayes' Humvee was fully equipped with armor plate and bulletproof glass, and Hayes was wearing a Kevlar vest.
The Kentucky Soldiers were providing security around a suspected improvised explosive device near Baghdad when the attack occurred. His unit mobilized for Operation Iraqi Freedom in October of 2004 and deployed to Southwest Asia in November 2004. Hayes brother and sister also served in the unit and were on the deployment with him but were not involved in the incident that took his life.
Hayes was the first girls’ soccer coach at Butler County High School, where he was head coach for five years. He also coached for four years at Greenwood High School. He was a graduate of Greenwood High School and Kentucky Advanced Technology Institute and had attended Western Kentucky University.
He was a recipient of numerous awards in soccer, including All Regional Player of the Year in soccer his senior year at Greenwood High School. He was a Boy Scout and attended Living Hope Baptist Church.
His awards and decorations included: Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, National Defense Ribbon, Army Achievement Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon and Kentucky Distinguished Medal. Hayes was posthumously promoted to the rank of Specialist.
Hayes is buried at Bowling Green Gardens Cemetery, Warren County.