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Donna Lyons Interviews Master Sergeant and Author Gene Hays

  • Broadcast in Books
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In 1965, Gene enlisted in the Marine Corps and went through recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego and infantry training at Camp Pendleton. Upon graduation, MSgt Hays was assigned to Aviation Electronics Schools at Naval Air Station Memphis, TN.

Upon completion of training, MSgt Hays was assigned to various duty stations including: Cherry Point, NC; Defense Language Institute, Monterey, CA; Chu Lai, Republic of Vietnam; El Toro, CA; Memphis, TN; Nam Phong, Thailand; Cubi Point, Philippines; Iwakuni, Japan; Santa Ana, CA; Washington, D.C.; and finally Memphis, TN where he retired after 21 years on active duty.

            At his retirement in 1986, MSgt Hays was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.  His personal decorations include the Navy Achievement Medal with Combat “V” and the Combat Action Ribbon, as well as several letters of commendation and unit citations.

             Gene Hays is the author of seven books - two about his Vietnam experience, an autobiography, two short stories, co-author of a biography of his former pastor in West Texas and his newest book Medals of Honor.  In 2014, Gene was awarded a research grant from the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation to write a commemorative history of the Marine Corps Combined Action Program in the Vietnam War to be published by the Marine Corps History Division in the next few months.