William HayesRegional Coordinator, New Jersey

William Hayes (Bill) is a retired Senior Master Sergeant (E8), New York Air National Guard and retired Firefighter from the New York City Fire Department (FDNY).

Hayes enlisted in the United States Navy in April 1980 and entered boot camp at NTC Great Lakes Ill. in September following graduation from High School. While assigned to VS-37 (S3 Anti Submarine Squadron), Naval Air Station North Island Ca. He made a WESTPAC Cruise onboard the USS Enterprise (CVN-65).  Upon his honorable discharged from active duty he immediately enlisted in the United States Naval Reserves, Naval Air Station, Willow Grove PA. assigned to VR-52 (C9 Airlift Squadron).  In 1990 upon his Honorable Discharge from the Naval Reserves he enlisted in the New York Air National Guard and was assigned as a Traditional Guardsman to the 105th Air Lift Wing (C5 Squadron), Stewart Air National Guard Base, Newburg NY.

On 19 October 2011 Bill was ordered to active duty in support of Operation Noble Eagle and deployed to the World Trade Center in New York City.  On 1 November 2006 he was ordered to active duty in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom with the 105th Air Lift Wing.  In 2007 William was deployed to Bagram Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. On 30 April 2012 he completed his active duty tour and returned to the New York City Fire Department.

In January 1986 Bill was appointed to the New York City Police Department and served as a New York City Police Officer (NYPD) until July 1987. In July 1987 he left the NYPD and was appointed to the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) until 2011.

As a New York City Firefighter Bill responded to the World Trade Center attacks on February 26 1993 and on September 11 2001, participating in the search and rescue operations. He was awarded four citations from the Fire Department including one for his immediate response to the World Trade Center Disaster on September 11 2001.

After sustaining a severe back injury and contracting cancer while serving on both active military duty and as a firefighter, Bill retired from the FDNY in May 2011 after 24 years of service and in December 2011 he retired from the New York Air National Guard as a Senior Master Sergeant (E8) with 31 years of military service (active duty, reserve, guard).

Since his retirement Bill has volunteered with numerous Veterans nonprofit organization at both the local and national levels.

Bill was introduced to sport of fly fishing thru Project Healing Waters in 2013.  PHWFF has provided him a safe environment to learn the therapeutic art of fly fishing and fly tying with fellow veterans and enjoy the outdoors despite his injuries and illness.  The PHWFF volunteers have mentored him thru their love of the sport and he hopes to pass this on to fellow veterans.  Nill currently serves as the PHWFF Regional Coordinator for New Jersey.