Bruce E. Hays
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Captain Bruce E. Hays, 42, of the U.S. Army National Guard of Wyoming, died Wednesday, September 17, 2008, as a result of injuries sustained in combat in Afghanistan.
Captain Hays was born December 29, 1965 in Merced, California. He graduated from Capitan (New Mexico) High School in 1984 and joined the U.S. Army. He served as an enlisted soldier as a tanker with the 2nd ACR for eight years, including service in Desert Storm, then attended New Mexico State University. During his college years he was employed at the Army Research Lab at White Sands Missile Range. In 1996 he graduated with honors from NMSU with a degree in soil science. He was a surveyor with the USDA Soil Service and then was offered a commission in the Army National Guard. He was employed full-time with the Army National Guard of Wyoming, and was on active duty at the time of his death. He was a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Fraternity at NMSU; the American Legion in Wyoming; the N.R.A.; Yellowstone Baptist Church in Cheyenne Wyoming; and had been very active with the Army National Guard family support programs.
Survivors include his wife Marie Hays of the family home in Alamogordo; his children, Bethany Hays and Eleanor Hays of Alamogordo, John Vance III of Albuquerque, and Alfonso Vance and Genevieve Vance of Cheyenne, Wyoming; his parents, Leonard and Barbara Louise Hays of Alamogordo; two brothers, Scott Hays of Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Mark Hays and his wife Julie of Hobbs, New Mexico; his father and mother-in-law, Arturo and Pilar Madrid of Anthony, New Mexico; and three brothers-in-law, Arturo Madrid and his wife Tracy of Conway, Arkansas, Juan Madrid and his wife Elizabeth of Denver, Colorado, and Ruben Madrid of Stuttgart, Germany.
Funeral services will be conducted Monday, September 29, at 11:00 a.m. at Bethel Baptist Church with Dr. Frank Zamora and Pastor Howell Scott officiating.
Military honors will be rendered by the U.S. Army National Guard. Escort honors will be provided by the Patriot Guard.
Cremation will follow the funeral services.
Friends may call Sunday from 2:00 until 4:00 p.m. at Hamilton-O'Dell Funeral Home.
Should friends desire, memorial contributions may be made to Operation Wounded Warrior, New Mexico Legion Riders, c/o Ed Summerall, 34 Stonewood Dr., Alamogordo, NM 88310.
To send condolences to the family or sign the online guest book, please visit

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Sep. 25, 2008.
Memories & Condolences
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58 entries
May 26, 2019
Every year around this time I think about Capt Hays. He was on of the first people I met when I got to my first unit. He was such a nice man. I was terrified when I got there but he put me at ease and made me feel welcome. You will never be forgotten. RIP Capt.
October 23, 2015
Never Forgotten
Aaron Benson
June 11, 2013
Capt Bruce Hays is still remembered, respected and honored.
July 29, 2012
I'd just like to say thank you to everyone who has left a message, heard or remembers my father (Cpt. Hays) in any way. Thank-you. You have made a big difference in my life.
Bethany Hays
February 16, 2012
My sincere condolences to the family for your loss of a husband and father. I just saw a video about the pickup truck. What a nice rememberance. I also create rememberances for families who have lost a love one in Iraq or Afhanistan. We create a portrait in wood and send them to the families of the deceased at no charge. Our group is We have cut portraits of over 1200 soldiers. I would be honored to cut portraits of Cpt Hays for your family as well. Please see our website or contact me.
September 17, 2011
To the family and friends of Capt. Bruce Hays:
Please accept my remembrance of Bruce on the anniversary of his passing and know that he will never be forgotten.
Peggy Childers
September 17, 2010
To the family and friends of Capt. Bruce Hays:
Remembering Bruce on the anniversary of his passing. May our fallen heroes never be forgotten!
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
Peggy Childers
November 27, 2009
My deepest sympathy to the entire family. My cousin Tom Chenault and his wife Thelma enjoyed knowing you all so much when you were at White Sands. I appreciate so much the sacrifice your family has made. You all must be wonderful people. May God bless you with His peace and the knowledge of the soon to be great reunion.

Gil McDonald, Sr.
Gil McDonald, Sr.
November 11, 2009
I want to thank every person in the US military and to honor what you did for our great country and the people in it. You helped protect our lives and fought for our rights and freedom. Thank you so much Captain Bruce Hays.
Neil Branham
September 30, 2009
My thoughts and prayers are with the Hays family in their loss. I was a friend in high school and know what a brave kind person he was,. May peace find you soon. Laura Torrez Farris (wichita, ks)
September 17, 2009
To the family of Capt. Bruce Hays:
Bruce gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
Peggy Childers
August 29, 2009
My condolences to the Hays family. I am sorry for your loss. Even in highschool, Bruce was an honorable person, you knew if he was your friend, he'd stay your friend even when you were in trouble. Godspeed
Caroline Olson-Garcia
May 4, 2009
To the Hays Family, my deepest condolences go to your family. I know what pain you are going through. I am the aunt of Jason A Vazquez the young man that also died with your husband. Every so often I check the military web-site to see how many more soldiers have died and I always reflect on my nephew how it is almost 7 mths later and it is still unbelievable. My God continue to give us the peace that surpasses all understanding. May God Bless you and your family...Happy Mother's day.
Judy Del Valle
April 27, 2009
My heartfelt sympathy to the Hays family and friends in the loss of Bruce. I did not know Bruce, but my heart is broken and I am saddened for your loss of such a fine young person and hero. May God bring you peace in your heart as you reflect on all the wonderful memories you hold so close. Please know that you are in my heart and prayers. My heart was touched by the many wonderful/beautiful things written about you. Bruce you are my hero and you will NEVER be forgotten.
I send each of you a hug from the most inner part of my heart.
Love and Peace

~Robert Orr~
Tom Gugliuzza-Smith
April 6, 2009
To the family of Capt.'s been awhile since we've spoken, however, always know I think of you often. Bruce is with Chris right now, and I'm certain they've shared endless amounts of memories. To your brave husband I salute. To MY brave husband...I salute. To them both, I am proud.
christina humphreys
March 4, 2009
Thank you for the sacrifice made by Capt Bruce Hays and the sacrifice made by everyone who loves and misses him! May God bless all of you!! May God heal you!
Diane Everett
November 21, 2008
I was lucky enough to be a friend of Bruces in 1983-84. He was nice, funny and friendly. We cruised the thriving metropolis of Capitan, NM on Friday nights. Bruce was always a lot of fun to be around. He was very mischievous but had a heart of gold and gentle spirit. I've thought of him often over the years and every time his memory hits me I smile. And now as I see the picture of him in uniform, hair turning grey and I read the news of his death through my tears, I see in his eyes that kid that I knew, and I smile.
Thanks for being my friend Bruce.
Peace to your parents and Mark.
I'll lift up your wife and kids in my prayers.
Fred DeSiena
November 5, 2008
My condolences to the family of Capt. Bruce Hays. May they know that there are many, many people who are grieving with them; and that care very deeply about them.
Sandy Bonesteel
October 25, 2008
We love our Soldiers! This is a Nonprofit Organization to honor are Soldiers!
Please contact us!
Kenna Larson
October 14, 2008
I am deeply saddened at the loss of this brave young soldier, a hero. My heart goes out to you at this time and in the days to come. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
In loving memory of my nephew
Lance Cpl James R Davenport KIA 11/22/06 Al Anbar Province
Pam Robertson
October 11, 2008
To the family and parents of Bruce I want you to know that you are not alone in the grief you are feeling. I too know what you are going through and what you will go through in the coming weeks and months ahead. You will have many questions as to why? You will have many things to get ready or go through and that should be done in time. Sometimes it just can’t be faced and that’s ok, for you will know when the time is right for you. There is no right or wrong way to grieve it’s an individual journey that unfortunately we now have to take. I ask that God give the comfort, strength and courage that you are going to need. When and if the time is right for you please contact me. You can cry, vent, or just talk as only another person who has been where you are can really know what you are going through. May God continue to be with you and heal you

In memory of my son
Spc Harry (Buck) Winkler III
KIA 11/12/06 Samarra, Iraq
82nd Airborne 2-505th PIR
October 6, 2008
When I first met Bruce I was LT Galeotos and he was SGT Hays. The next time I turned around I was SGT Galeotos and he was LT Hays. He used to joke with me that a Specialist had been promoted more than I had, but I had most of them beat in demotions!

It was a good hearted joke and he knew the reality of the situation so he knew I would find it all in good fun as well. The underlying fact in there is that the Guard knew what kind of a man Bruce was from the get go and moved him into a leadership position as quick as they could.

Working in the Information Management Office with Bruce allowed his co-workers to really appreciate the qualities that he had as a leader and as a person. Soft spoken, quick witted, fiendishly mischeivious, and exceptionally intelligent are all things that come to mind when thinking of Bruce.

He of course applied all these traits to being a leader, a father, a husband... a friend. I wish I could weild words with a artists eloquence to paint those that didn't know him a complete picture so that someone reading this maybe tomorrow, maybe years from now could understand how rare and valuable he was. Sadly I think even if I could there would always be something of a Mona Lisa smile because as genuine as he was there was always something turning behind his eyes that made you wonder what he was thinking or cooking up. As I've been reminded time and time again over the last couple of weeks there are sometimes when no words are adequate.

In the last few days I've met some of Bruces' family and friends. It's been very hard to say 'it's nice to meet you' because it's not, it's not nice to meet under the circumstances, but I've cherished every moment. His parents, siblings, good friends, all know what I'm talking about far better than I do, but if I can be so bold to say I think I understand the depth of their pain and sorrow. This wasn't how it was supposed to be, this isn't the life and future that I see from my vantage point where Bruce should be.

It's here that I remind myself that it's where Bruce saw himself, where he wanted to be, and the job he loved doing. He believed in the mission he volunteered for.

Bruce, I'll see you down on Fiddlers Green. Each day I will strive to be more like you. You are the warrior scholar, a leader and a gentleman, one of the best men I've ever had the pleasure of knowing.

Shine on you crazy Diamond.

John Galeotos
October 5, 2008
Prayer for Peace

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Stephanie Rafoss
October 2, 2008
Please accept my most sincere condolences on the loss of Capt.
Bruce Hays. My family has been praying for him and other soldiers for quite sometime. Unfortunately for us who are left behind, the answer to prayer was not the one we were looking for.
Only Capt. Hays truly knows the Glory of the Heavenly Kingdom as he has been "promoted" to eternal bliss.
May your family find peace with time.
Shannon and family Cardenas
October 2, 2008
My prayers and thoughts are with you.
I know how you feel losing a "HERO",Becoming a "Gold Star" Mother myself on 25 March.. The sacrafice our sons and daughters are making on a daily basis should tell us all..These young HEROS knew full well what they were doing and did it proudly When you hug your loved ones tonight.... Remember... We also hugged ours and they were protecting you..We.. as Americans need to make the "Ultimate Sacrafice" by supporting all our military(HEROS)...the Proud Mom of SGT. Jason W. Swiger
5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade
October 1, 2008
My deepest sympathy is with your family at this time. Bruce, I am sure, was a wonderful man. I went to Raton High School with Bruce and remember him as being quite comical. He is a true hero.
Kara (Apache)Roberts
September 30, 2008
I wish to send my regards to the family of Capt. Bruce Hays. I knew Bruce when he attended Raton High and considered him a friend. Bruce was always a good friend and he will be missed by many.
Jonathan Keil
September 30, 2008
My thoughts and prayers are with the Hays family during this difficult time. Bruce was doing one of the bravest things in the world fighting for our freedom and I owe him a debt of gratitude. I went to high school with Bruce in Raton and remember him fondly. He wore his FFA jacket with pride as I remember. He will be missed.
Mandy (Smoker)Peters
September 30, 2008
I was so sadden when I got your letter Alfonso about your dad. I would like to extend my deepest sympathy to you and your family for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Mrs. "B", Central HS
Sue Bennett
September 30, 2008
To the Hays family,

I know there are no words to say, except how sorry I am for your loss. May you hold Bruces' memory in your heart and please remember he shall never be forgotten.

...For you every single soldier
Those who served so honorable
Your life was forever altered
While I’m home safe and free
I stand with grateful admiration
I stand respectful and so proud
I know I’m only a civilian
And I don’t even know if it’s allowed.

But I salute you; allow me the honor
to salute you with permission let me say
Even though I hold no rank know that from my heart
My humble gratitude comes from the deepest part.
I salute you.

Suzanne MacDaniel
A Proud Aunt
Sgt. David M.Fisher
KIA 12/1/04
September 29, 2008
Worked with CPT. Hays in Gillette for a couple of years in our FDC section. Always professional and a all around good guy. Will be missed. Prayers to his family for this great loss.
Chris Urman Urman
September 29, 2008
To the family of Captain Bruce Hays I extend heartfelt sorrow for your loss. I knew Captain Hays in high school and remember him as a young man of high standards. His ultimate sacrifice for his country will not be foregotten. May God bring peace to his family who made the ultimate sacrifice as well.
Rebecca Barber/Ilgen
September 28, 2008
We offer our sincere condolences to the family of Capt. Hays. Our son Jim is also in Afghanistan with the other members of Capt.Hays' team. They described his as a great guy.
Be assured of our prayers and support.
Fred and Charlotte Leas
September 28, 2008
Teresa I am so terribly sorry to hear of your loss. You and your family are in my prayers. May you all find comfort in your memories of Bruce. My deepest condolences.
Rene Smith
September 28, 2008
Teresa & Family,
Tom and I are very sorry for your loss. I plan to remember the happy times we had with you and Bruce at White Sands. May God bless and keep you.
Thelma Chenault
September 28, 2008
RIP PFC Aaron J. Ward 4/28/89 - 5/6/08 (KIA)
Bruce, God bless you soldier and thank you for your brave and honorable service to a grateful nation and for paying the ultimate price for our freedom.. You are now in great company with God and so many other fallen hero's before and after you. On 5/6/08 my nephew PFC Aaron J. Ward was killed in action in Iraq and my final promise to him was to never forget him and our fallen hero’s, we will never forget their commitment and sacrifice. To the Hays family, words cannot express the pain we now share, but our families will forever have a bond and we will be thinking of Bruce and your family and will keep you in our thoughts & prayers. Please accept my heart felt condolences and my prayer that god help you cope with this tragic loss and may the memories of your HERO carry you through each day. From one Gold Star family to another!
Gary Tolle
September 27, 2008
Marie, I'm so sorry for your loss. Bruce was a wonderful man and I am proud to have known him as a roommate in college.
Rick Blauw
September 27, 2008
Teresa, I am so very sorry for your loss. Our prayers and thoughts are with you. God Bless you and your children.
Celsa Madrid
September 26, 2008
I worked down the hall from CPT Hays a few years ago. I remember him as a very competent and dedicated soldier. It saddens me to hear he paid the ultimate price. Thank you for your service Sir.
TJ Felix (Harrington)
September 26, 2008
Teresa and Fam,

Too my cousin Teresa and all your Family i am very saddend by your loss you have lost a great husband and father, the world has lost a great man but serving myself in Iraq and knowing what he went thru you should be oh so very proud of the sacrifice Cpt. Bruce Hays your great husband has done for this great nation its the ultimate sacrifice he and the many who have come before him have payed for us to be where we are, were are all in debted to him once more for everything he left you and the family and this whole nation. God Bless You all our Prayers are for you and the Family

CPL Paul A. Martinez
1st Batallion 5th Marines
Paul Martinez
September 26, 2008
We honor your family for Captain Hayes' service to this country. Please accept our sympathy.
Jacques Laramie DAR Chaplain
September 26, 2008
To Teresa and your children, our thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort. To a brave hero that gives us the freedom in which we live in.
Thank you again
Mr. & Mrs. Paul Martinez & Family
September 26, 2008
Capt. Bruce Hays
you are my hero
may god keep you in his arms forever.
Gary Allain
September 25, 2008
Capt. Hayes,
Sir, I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country-not just in OIF, but also for your service in Desert Storm as well. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.
Mike Casey
September 25, 2008
I did not know this brave soldier, but I am deeply honored by his commitment to his country in its time of need. My prayers and the prayers of my family are with you and your loved ones during this unimaginably painful time. This world is lesser place today.
Sean Perkins
September 25, 2008
To cousin Terry and Family: Our deepest sympathy and prayers are with you and your family. May GOD be with you all.
Leos Family
September 25, 2008
Terry & Family - May the Lord comfort you and keep his arms around you. Find peace in knowing that Bruce is with God and God is with you. Bless you all and bless Bruce for his service and sacrifice.
Deb Stundon
September 25, 2008
God Bless your family and thank you for your service in fighting for our freedom.
Christina Lessau
September 24, 2008
In Humble Thanks, to this Brave Guardsman, who has given his life, in the Service of our Country and for Freedom, With so much gratitude for his Courage, and his Unselfish Dedication and Service.

Rest Safely now Capt. Bruce Hays, in the Hands of God and may the Peace of God be with your loving family.
Those who Make these Sacrifices, So Many and So Young, shall Never Be Forgotten, my brother among them, Killed in action in Vietnam in 1967.

"I consider that our present sufferings.
are not worth comparing with the glory
that shall be revealed in us."
~ Romans 8:18 ~

I am sincerely hoping that you feel the thoughts of caring and support that surround you today and in the difficult days ahead, as this Grateful Country morns with you, for someone very precious to you, who is a True American Hero to all of us.
I am So Deeply Sorry for your Loss.
Garnet Jenkins
September 24, 2008
From our military family to yours, we would like to thank CPT Bruce Hays for his service and sacrifice to this grateful country, as well as send our deepest condolences for your loss. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
Shelley H
September 24, 2008
Terry and Family,
I am so sorry for your loss. You are in my prayers and those of my family. May God bless and comfort you all during this time of grieving. If there is anything I can ever help with please let me know.

Yours in Christ,
Wade DeBerry
September 24, 2008
Captain Bruce Hays
September 24, 2008
I am writing to offer my deepest sympathies to you and your family over the loss of your HERO Capt Bruce Hays. I lost my son in Iraq on May 6/2007, so I can well understand your pain of losing a loved one so dear.

I pray you will be guided by a higher power to give you peace, comfort and strength in this time.

Psalm 34:18
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit
GOD Bless you and your family. Your soldier was a true American Hero and we are all very proud of his service. He will not be forgotten!

(Proud mother of Sgt Joel W. Lewis, 5/20, 3-2 SBCT /Ft Lewis
KIA 5/6/07, Baqubah, Iraq)
Gale Poindexter
September 23, 2008
I didn't know your husband, son, father, brother, but I know that he died fighting for me. Though I cannot thank him personally, I thank you, his family, for allowing this solider to fight for my freedom. Please know that you will forever remain in my prayers.
Connie Moffitt
September 23, 2008
We honored your memory in the way soldiers will, at the table for fallen comrades. We said roll call & waited for you to answer.
You led well & ensured we trained hard. Your leadership legacy, committed & loyal, will live on among us all. A man of the highest integrity, a father & husband first, your friendship will be missed. 1LT Sandoval
1LT Sandoval
September 23, 2008
We are so saddened to hear of Bruces passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with Leonard, Luise, Terry, Brittany, Elenor, Scott, and Mark.

I am very proud of Bruce for his service to the country and what that means to each member of my family. I was so thankful that Bruce and his family made it to Branson this past July. We reflected on many of our childhood memories as cousins and renewed our friendship as adults. I will miss Bruce, but always admire his commitment to family, friends and country.
Steve Hays
September 23, 2008
May the Lord bless your family. I am humbled by the sacrifice you made to protect our freedoms and our country. God bless you Soldier.
Frances Martin
September 22, 2008
I will not allow my tears to blur the memories I have as a fellow soldier, and co-worker of CPT Hays. He was the best his unit, the service, and his country could offer, and he will be missed by all. My thoughts and prayers for his parents, wife, and children. GRADY
David Wright
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