The good news of the Armistice was completely overshadowed by some bad news from home, news that Hayes received by letter just three days after the Armistice but nearly a month after it actually happened. As Hayes was fighting in the Argonne, his father back in the States unexpectedly and suddenly died. Hayes heard the news first from a sympathy letter he received from a friend. On November 25, he wrote to his sister,
"When the terrible news first came I was coming in from drill, feeling so happy and light hearted because the Armistice had been signed, then a letter was handed me from Ruth L. [a friend]; when I felt it was so thin I was afraid to open the envelope. I felt sure it was bad news of some kind but I had no idea it would be such terrible news. Hazel, if it had happened a year ago I don't think I could have stood it, but I have seen so much, so awfully much suffering since I have been here I think it made it easier for me....Hayes remained in Europe until the spring and was finally demobilized in May, 1919, upon which he returned home to help provide for his mother and sisters.
It is so hard to realize that Papa is really gone, and I had so many things I wanted to tell him...
I came over here several months ago to do a "little job." Now that job is finished but I have a bigger one ahead of me and I want to be the one to do it. It wont be long until I will be back, and how I long to see you all and be with all of you..."
This Veteran's Day our brother-in-law is serving in Afghanistan. We pray for him daily and are thankful for his service to our nation.