Major Bernard Hayes
That’s true. But there are also many others in their forties and fifties – and still firing on all cylinders.
Meet Oakey’s 54-year-old Major Bernard Hayes. He’s been in the Army for around 35 years and still enjoys the challenge.
In fact, he has just returned from a tour of duty in East Timor where he was the officer commanding the aviation element of the Australian-led International Stabilisation Force.
Bernie said the Australian Black Hawk helicopters make a significant contribution through the provision of troop lift and 24-hour aero-medical evacuation capabilities.
“One of the highlights of my deployment was my aviation group’s support for humanitarian activities including delivery of much-needed medical supplies to remote villages,” he said.
“Also, we developed a close relationship with a local orphanage, inviting the children onto the base for games and a traditional Aussie barbeque.”
At the invitation of the Government of Timor-Leste the multi-national contingent has been supporting the East Timorese security forces to maintain a stable and secure environment.
Major Hayes now returns to his role as second-in-command of the Army Helicopter School at Oakey.
With a family military history dating back to World War 1, he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Major Hayes returns to Australia with a Timor-Leste Solidarity Medal, personally presented to him by East Timor President, Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta.