Morgantown Soldier Killed in Iraq

By  | 

A Kentucky National Guard soldier who coached a girls soccer team in Butler County is killed in Iraq. 29-year-old specialist Michael Ray Hayes of Morgantown died Tuesday near Baghdad when insurgents fired on their armored humvee with a rocket propelled grenade. The Kentucky soldiers were providing security around a suspected improvised explosive device when the attack took place. Hayes was assigned to the 617th military police company based in Richmond with a detachment in bowling green. Hayes' brother and sister specialist James Hayes and specialist Melissa Stewart are also in Iraq with the same unit. They're expected to accompany the body to Bowling Green for funeral services which are not complete. Four other soldiers were wounded in the attack. Their injuries said to be minor. Hayes joined the National Guard in December of 2002. He is a native of Bowling Green and attended Western Kentucky University. He served as a coach for the Butler County High School girl's soccer team. According to The Butler County Superintendent Hayes was on leave last week and was able to have pizza with some of his team. He went back to Iraq last Saturday and was killed on Tuesday. Hayes is the sixth member of the Kentucky National Guard to be killed in action since the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Governor Ernie Fletcher has directed flags at all state office buildings be lowered to half-staff in honor of the Morgantown soldier.