Bob Hayhurst was born in 1943 in Waukesha, Wisconsin. He spent most of his youth growing up in New Richmond, Wisconsin, graduating from New Richmond High School in 1961. He was an active athlete earning 10 athletic varsity letters at NRHS in football, basketball and baseball. He attended the University of Wisconsin–Stout in Menomonie, Wisconsin, majoring in Industrial Technology and Education. While at the UW-Stout, he played on the basketball team for all four years, being named team-captain during his senior year. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on July 5, 1966, and completed basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, in September 1966. Pvt Hayhurst next attended the USAINTS (United States Army Intelligence School) at Fort Holabird, Maryland, from September 1966 to January 1967. His first assignment was as Special Agent with the 66th Military Intelligence Group in Stuttgart, Germany from January to October 1967. Sgt Hayhurst then served as Special Agent with the 525th and then the 1st Bn of the 135th MI Group in Hue, South Vietnam from November 1967. He was captured during the Tet Offensive of 1968 in the city of Hue. After defending their position for a day and a half until their ammunition ran out, his 5-man field office was overrun by units of the North Vietnamese Army on February 1, 1968. After spending 23 days in captivity, he managed to escape from his captors while on a march toward Laos. He made it back to friendly lines by using a river coming out of the mountains heading east toward to coast. He returned to the United States in March 1968, and then served as Special Agent with the 113th MI Group at the Milwaukee Field Office in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, from March 1968 until he left active duty on July 3, 1969. He married Bonnie Young in 1969, and returned to UW-Stout, and received a BS Degree and a Master's Degree in Communications Technology and Media in 1971. While at UW-Stout, Bob was Head Freshman Basketball Coach for two years. Bob received an honorable discharge from the Army Reserve on July 4, 1972. He took a position as Director of Technology at the Bay-Arenac Intermediate School District in Bay City, Michigan in 1971, heading up the advancement of educational technology for all schools in those two counties in Michigan for 25 years. Twice he was named President of the State of Michigan REMC Association (Regional Educational Media Centers). He was advanced to Assistant Superintendent in 1988. In 1996 he moved to Jackson, Michigan, working as Director of Technology for the Jackson County ISD until his retirement in 2000. He and Bonnie had three children, Rod, Eric and Amy. After Bonnie passed in 2010, he married Perrian Woodard Conway in 2013. Bob and Perry live in Bay City, Michigan.
His Silver Star Citation reads:
For gallantry in action while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam: Sergeant Hayhurst distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions form 30 January to 23 February 1968 while defending against the communist Tet offensive in the city of Hue. North Vietnamese Army forces launched a coordinated series of devastating attacks throughout the city on 30 January, and he and his team were trapped in a house isolated from other friendly forces. After destroying vital intelligence materials in the team's possession, Sergeant Hayhurst distributed ammunition and weapons to the other members and deployed them in defensive positions. Sniper fire severely wounded one of his men outside the house. Braving blazing machine gun and mortar fire, he dashed to his fallen comrade and dragged him to safety. Several fanatical enemy assaults reached point blank range. He and his men successfully repulsed them with murderous fire until their ammunition was expended and they were captured. The team was taken to an enemy camp outside the city. For nineteen days, Sergeant Hayhurst searched for the opportunity to escape. On 19 February, he and twenty other prisoners began a march to another camp. After four days of travel, one of the guards became careless. Seizing the opportunity, Sergeant Hayhurst dashed into the jungle and fought through densely vegetated terrain to his own lines. Intelligence materials he provided proved highly valuable in tracing the activities of enemy units in the area. Sergeant Hayhurst's gallantry in action was in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.