In 2008, Captain Bruce Hays of the Wyoming Army National Guard, was deployed to Afghanistan. Before he left on his mission, he bought a 1959 Chevy Apache pickup truck as a future anniversary gift for his wife. Keeping it a secret, Capt. Hays planned to have the truck fully restored and ready to give to his wife upon his return home. Capt. Hays found someone willing to do the restoration and paid that man $17,000 to have the vehicle completed by the time of his return.

Tragically, Capt. Hays was killed in action on Sept. 17, 2008.

His family and friends later found out that the man Capt. Hays had hired to restore the pickup, not only - did not complete the work on the vehicle, he had left the area taking the money with him. By the time law enforcement caught up with the man, he had already spent all of the money and left the truck in several pieces.

Watch the story done by NBC Channel 9 in Denver:

The work is being completed as we speak, by the Friends of the 133rd as well as a host of donors from all across the country.

The Friends of the 133rd are having an auction in Laramie on April 2 to raise funds for the Hays family, to complete the anniversary gift for Capt. Hays' wife, as well as establish a scholarship fund for students in Capt. Hays' name.

Donated auction items are still being sought and an account has been set up at Bank of the West for all monetary donations.

You can donate to the Capt. Bruce Hays Memorial Fund at any Bank of the West Branch.

For more updates on the Captain Hays Apache Project click on one of the links below:

Gallery - In Memory of Captain Bruce Hays

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