Capt. Bruce Hays, Desert Storm veteran and Wyoming National Guard soldier, gave his life for his country, but as happens so often, there was a special project that was left unfinished.
Prior to his deployment, Capt. Hays had presented his wife with an anniversary present-a 1959 Chevrolet Apache pickup truck that he would restore. When he was killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan, the mechanic who was restoring the car took the money and disappeared.
Hays’ friends decided to complete the mission that he never had the chance to finish. WyoTech has collaborated with the fundraising team called “The Friends of the 133rd” to restore the truck and prepare it for painting.
In a combined effort of students, instructors and faculty, the truck is on its way to a complete restoration. Since June 2010, there have been at least a dozen WyoTech students who have dedicated more than 200 hours to the project, according to a press release.
“They have learned many valuable life lessons by giving back to this deserving family,” the release noted “They’ve also enhanced their curriculum with hands-on training in rust repair, fabrication, dent removal and more.”
A website has been set up for donations and information about the 1959 Chevy Apache project truck. Donors and interested parties can view progress reports at captainhaysapacheproject.com.
The goal is to raise enough money to complete the pickup and create a legacy scholarship in Captain Hays’ name for veterans wishing to attend WyoTech. The restoration is scheduled to be completed by Sept. 17, the anniversary of his death, when the truck will be returned to the family.