Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communication Office
Governor Ernie Fletcher directs flags at state offices at half-staff in memory of Kentucky guardsman

Press Release Date:  Thursday, June 16, 2005  
Contact Information:  Carla Blanton
Michael Goins
Jodi Whitaker

Kentucky National Guardsman Specialist Michael Hayes killed near Baghdad

FRANKFORT, Ky.: Governor Ernie Fletcher has directed that flags at all state office buildings remain lowered to half-staff in honor of Specialist Michael Hayes, of Morgantown, Ky.  Hayes was killed near Baghdad on Tuesday.

“Once again, Kentuckians are reminded by the loss of one of their own that freedom is not free,” said Governor Fletcher. “Specialist Hayes was a dedicated soldier who bravely chose – along with his brother and sister who served with him – to defend his fellow solders and his fellow Americans at home by fighting for the freedom of others. He gave unselfishly of his time, as have many others, serving his country.

“The First Lady and I send our heartfelt condolences to the family of Specialist Hayes. Our thoughts and prayers are with them in this difficult time.”

Hayes, 29, was a Kentucky Army National Guardsman assigned to the 617th Military Police Company, based out of Richmond. Hayes was killed during a rocket propelled grenade attack while providing security around a suspected improvised explosive device near Baghdad.

Flags will remain at half-staff throughout the state until sunset on the day of Hayes’ funeral. Services are pending at this time.

There are currently 1,127 Kentucky National Guard soldiers mobilized in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The Kentucky National Guard does not release information on casualties until 24 hours after the soldier’s family is notified.