Marine Corps Veteran James Lawrence Hays is today's Veteran of the Day.

Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Marine Corps Veteran James Lawrence Hays, who served with a combat regiment during the Korean War.

Lawrence Hays joined the Marine Corps Reserve in 1949 when he was a sophomore in high school. As part of his Reserve requirements, he attended multiple training camps during the summer. While at a summer camp in Little Creek, Virginia, the Korean War started. Hays stayed in school until he turned 18, then the Reserve activated him. He served with the 2nd Battalion of the 1st Marine Regiment and went to Korea in June 1951.

Hays spent a year in Korea. Most of this time, he was in a combat zone. He fought in multiple significant battles. One of these battles took place in what was known as the Punchbowl Area. This battle occurred on many hills. The 7th Marine Corps Regiment started the attack, and they sustained enough casualties that Hays’ regiment had to reinforce. They took three hills but had lost too many men to continue.

Hays separated from the service in 1952 and discharged from the Reserve in 1953. He then went to work at Libbey Owen’s Ford and later became a master electrician. Hays passed away in January 2018. More of his story can be found at

 We honor his service.

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.

Veterans History Project

This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at


Editor: Essence McPherson

Fact checker: Vivian Hurney

Graphic artist: Sarah Kowalewski

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Published on Oct. 17, 2019

Estimated reading time is 2 min.

Views to date: 75

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