DANBURY, Conn. -- Danbury presented veteran U.S. Army Specialist Daniel Hayes Jr. with the Warrior Award at the 10th annual Walk of Honor this past Sunday.
Hayes served in Operation Desert Storm and was awarded the Bronze Star for Meritorious Achievement on March 15, 1991.
While maneuvering behind enemy lines, Hayes’s unit faced friendly fire and at the same time learned that there were dismounted enemy infantry all around their position. His orders were to leave their vehicles and prepare foxholes. As his team began to dig in, they realized in 120-degree heat and full Army kit, that they may not make it in time. Hayes, at his own peril, removed all of his own protective gear down to his t-shirt, and began digging foxholes one at a time for each of his colleagues while they covered him with protective fire, digging his own foxhole last.
Hayes continued his heroism after he returned to the states. He rescued a woman from a burning vehicle that was involved in a motor vehicle accident. He remained inside the vehicle with the woman, even though the flames were spreading rapidly and he was eventually able to free her and pull her to safety.
Hayes serves as the director of the Danbury War Memorial and is Director of Veteran Affairs in Danbury.
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