Our Omega Mu brothers who served in the military are cherished and constant fraternal friends, and we would like to say thank you for the steadfast, purposeful commitment you made to our nation to defend those four freedoms we all believe in: “Freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.” For those brothers who were killed in defense of these freedoms, they will always occupy a consecrated place in our linked fraternal heart because they exemplify the idea of superlative commitment, strength, and fortitude for the good to the end itself. The greatness of their collective purpose and will, on our nation’s behalf, will never be forgotten. By their “clear-eyed faith and fearless heart,” these brothers have left us a fraternal legacy that echoes what we often say about Omega Mu Fijis: “Perseverance and determination are omnipotent.” Their code of integrity, courage, duty, responsibility, and self-sacrifice on behalf of our nation is a powerful legacy we can all be proud of as Omega Mu Fijis.
Whether it was at New Orleans, Red River, Fort Blakely, Marianna, San Juan Hill, Santiago de Cuba, Chateau-Thierry, Verdun, El Guettar, Elba, Monte Della Vedetta, the Battle of the Bulge, Rabaul, Inchon, Pusan, Chosin Reservoir, Pork Chop Hill, Hue, Easter Offensive, Phu Cat, The Iron Triangle, Hamburger Hill, la Drang Valley, Bien Hoa, Khe Sanh, Rumaila, Al-Batin, Medina Ridge, Kabul, Kandahar, our Omega Mu brothers have demonstrated devotion to duty in defense of freedom and liberty. They are the stability of our nation, and we, the Omega Mu brotherhood, revere, honor, and salute their persevering and determined spirit within our great nation and our historic brotherhood. We will always be grateful for the military service of every Omega Mu veteran from the Civil War to the present. Thank you.
Omega Mu Veteran
Stephen J. Hayward,
Stephen Hayward served in the 101st Airborne in Vietnam
Memory of Steve Hayward
Jim McLean, 1972
Steve never talked about Vietnam, what I learned about Steve's experiences came from John Rhodes. For I think three years running, John and Roger Watson would celebrate the Marine Corps' birthday at the Oronoka. Each of those years, they invited me to join them. That was the time of year that John would talk about his experiences in Vietnam, which he seldom did. John's normal way of dealing with some very difficult memories was to write them down, take what he had written behind the Castle and burn the paper. If I remember correctly, on occasion, Steve would do the same thing.
On one of these occasions at the Oronoka, John talked about the engagement where Steve was shot in the neck, as well as what he had done prior to that engagement, which was his last in Vietnam. I would like to share the moving story John shared with me about Steve and his resilience and courage.
Steve joined the army and went to Vietnam as a private. By the time of the engagement, he had been promoted to captain, at age 19! By that time, Steve's heroism had already been rewarded with appointment to West Point. He was set to start upon conclusion of his combat tour.
Steve had been a forward observer, as had John Rhodes. He had the dangerous job of closely following VC and NVA units while avoiding detection. Due to the need for silence, his practical weapon was a knife, and according to John, he often had to use it. Based on his heroism, Steve advanced from private to captain within a year.
His last fight in Vietnam began with a helicopter assault. The helicopters were flying at low altitude under heavy fire. Steve was hit by a small arms projectile and literally shot out of the helicopter. He was fortunate enough to have his fall broken by trees in the dense jungle. He was in NVA controlled territory and forced to crawl, wounded, on his stomach for two days to avoid detection. He stumbled on an American platoon whose lieutenant had been killed after the two days, and he assumed command of the leaderless unit. They engaged the NVA, and Steve was shot in the neck, and a major artery was partially severed. It could have been either the jugular or the carotid, but he fortunate, again, that he was next to a medic. The medic sutured Steve's vascular and neck wounds under fire.While being sutured, Steve was wounded for the third time, taking a round in the buttocks. Upon repair, Steve continued to command his troops until they were evacuated by helicopter. Steve was the last man into the helicopter. He was wounded again on entry. They thought he wouldn't make it and even called his Dad, Col. Hayward (the "Bear") over to Nam to see him. Needless to say, the big guy survived. Thank God the big boy made it, and we all got to know one of the great ones while at Omega Mu. His nickname was “Bimbo” the baby elephant! In fact, there is a Bimbo burger on the menu at Pat’s in honor of Steve. Steve received numerous citations including the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, Purple Heart, and was he nominated for the Congressional Medal of Honor.
John Rhodes, who read Steve's recommendation for the CMH and discussed the engagement with Steve, said that he was stunned by it, and that Steve's conduct was the most heroic he had seen or heard of during his own heroic career as a Marine.
Steve Hayward receiving the Silver Star
Omega Mu Years
"Three brothers in front: left to right are Paul Wood (no shirt), Stephen Hayward, Jim Hayes.
Behind Stephen Hayward's right shoulder is Bob Meneally. In the middle, wearing glasses, looking at the camera in the white shirt is Fred Gallela, and behind him is Mike McInnis. Behind McInnis's left shoulder is Ted Crowell. To the of Fred Gallela, wearing a V-neck sweater is Bob Van Dyke. To his left is John Duffy, who is looking to his right. To the left of John Duffy, hind in his pocket, is Jim McLean. Behind Jim, his left shoulder, is Bob Gandolfi. Third row, left side, wearing a light shirt and dark sunglasses looks like George Wiest. On the left edge of the photo, wearing a white belt, is Tom Richardson. Left rear, second from the back row, in white shirt with long blonde hair is Bob Duetsch. To his left is John Halloran, and behind Halloran could be Peter Stanwyck. On the right side of the photo, with the finger peace symbol behind someone's head could be Jim Walsh. Behind his right shoulder, the brother with a great deal of hair, could be John Zinno." (Jim McLean, '72 )
"His nickname was “Bimbo” the baby elephant! In fact, there is a Bimbo burger on the menu at Pat’s in honor of Steve. Steve was my roommate my freshman year." (Jim McLean, '72)
Top, Jim McLean, first on the left, the freshmen class president;
bottom, talking to a coed; right, senior portrait picture.
Steve Hayward and Jim McLean
Memories of Steve Hayward
In 1969, I transferred from the University of Dayton in Ohio to UMO after being recruited by Walt Abbott. When I traveled to Orono, in August, for the football meeting, I was with my parents who wanted to see the campus. While traveling with them to the football meeting, I was given a lecture by my father about driving too fast on 95. Then it happened, the engine in my MG threw a rod and had the car jump three lanes and almost kill us both. While sitting on the side of the road, my father could only think about the football meeting and that we were going to be late. Finally, a state trooper stopped to check on us and was immediately accosted by my father on how the trooper needed to drive us to the campus to catch the football meeting. Only in Maine would you see a trooper drive us from Bangor to Orono at 95 miles an hour to catch the meeting.
However, I was 10 minutes late. So, when I opened the gym door it squeaked and Walt turned and looked to see who was late for his meeting. The look was a hard stare as most of us can imagine, so I stood next to the door leaning against the wall of the gym. Within 5 minutes, the squeaky door opened again, and this time the Walt stare was a nasty look at the football candidate named Steve Hayward. So, the first person I met at Orono was the man himself where he stood next to me leaning against the gym wall. Since we both knew no one, we stuck together, including lockers next to one another. We managed to make room changes and Steve moved into my room during second semester. Steve was two years older than me since he made a detour through Vietnam. When he moved into the dorm, my parents came up for a weekend and they were impressed with how neat Steve had moved all his stuff in, sort of military like. Steve drove a red Austin Healy 3000 convertible! He also had the best stereo system in Orono which he liked to place them in the open window, on nice days, to share with the entire campus. Steve totaled the Austin Healy that spring while driving two girls from our dorm, one was Paula who later married Pag.
Steve was the guy who said, on rush weekend, that we needed to stop by FIJI since he had some old high school friends. We had started at the other end of campus, so FIJI was the last house to visit, and we dragged along Bobby Hayes. We were very impressed, and I believe Jim Mclean encouraged us to come back when we were able to talk better and stand. The second weekend, once school started, Steve suggested that we go to Bangor since these two guys, twins, had a place in Bangor and were throwing a party. When we arrived, I got to meet the Soloby twins for the first time, and while they were all bragging about their high school feats at Okinawa High, they mentioned their quarterback, Larry Harris. I said wait a minute, I know a Larry Harris who was a military brat like the Soloby’s and Hayward, and Bill Soloby said bullshit. I said that the Larry I knew at Dayton was Black!! It was the same Larry who was my best friend at Dayton, and now I meet Hayward, and the Soloby’s, who played at Okinawa High, together. Impossible shit!! But just like Larry, the Soloby twins, and Steve ended up being a big part of my life.
One off season Steve and I had a contest on who could put on the most weight, I am talking around 30 Lbs. This is where Steve got the name Bimbo the baby elephant, and most of the weight was gained at Pat’s where we both worked in the Den for Tyler Libby and his gang of FIJI thieves. Every night Steve would order special a cheese burger with lettuce and tomato and lots of mayo. The name was given in honor of Steve and it was called the Bimbo burger as we know it today. My last time at Pat’s the Bimbo burger was proudly still on the menu.
Steve was not a linebacker, he was a fullback. Steve played freshmen and thought about continuing his second year until we spent the summer at Falmouth down on the cape with a bunch of FIJI misfits! Steve opted to extend the summer verse hanging out with Walt in the middle of August at Orono.
Steve was not a linebacker, he was a fullback. Steve played freshmen football and thought about continuing his second year until we spent the summer at Falmouth, down on the cape with a bunch of FIJI misfits! Steve opted to extend the summer rather than hang out with Walt, in the middle of August, at Orono.
Steve became a Maine State Trooper and on his way to becoming the personal body guard for the Governor of Maine. He was living in Falmouth, Maine with Peter Stanwick and other FIJIs when we all were going to drive up for Pig Dinner. This was two years out of college for me, so I drove up early on a Friday night so we could all head up to Orono once everyone got out of work. While killing time, Stanwick talked me into going to a bar since his girlfriend was a teacher and all her worker friends were hitting the bar. This is where I met my wife of 46 year. Again, all great things in my life have Hayward’s fingerprints all over it.
But while I was courting my future wife, I spend each weekend in Portland where Steve and I played touch football for a team called Hanks Cookies, he was a Phi Mu who owned a bakers. It was during this time that he was offered the opportunity to join the Treasury Department. Many years later Steve, called me since he was working a case in Massachusetts while being a treasury agent. My wife and I met Steve who was working a big case that was going to trial in New Bedford, Mass. Steve followed the money in the investigation of drug deals coming from South America. He showed us photo’s of barrels being x-rayed where it showed cash inside the barrels. Somewhere along the way, Steve learned Spanish and traveled to Columbia to work undercover. Eventually, he was hired as a contractor and was living in Columbia much of the time. This is where he had his stroke that was not treated properly and caused his being paralyzed from the neck down.
I visited Steve at the veterans hospital right after he returned to the U.S.A. He was unable to speak or move anything; it was a tragedy! Years later, both Zinno and I visited Steve. at his home in York, where he lived with his wife, Terry. Steve had made huge progress on speaking and even starting to stand. My biggest regret was not staying in touch more after that visit.
He only had a few stories to share about Vietnam. One that I will always remember was after he was shot in the throat he was given the last rights, and his father Brig. Gen. Hayward was notified that his son was killed in action. He prayed this was not the case and understood that it could be a mistake, so he waited several days to get it confirmed and told no one. Thank the lord the big guy did make it through and blessed us all with his presence at UMO, and a special person in all our lives. Love you, Stevie
“What if the space be long and wide,
That parts us from our brother’s side
A soul-joined chain unites our band,
And memory links us hand in hand.”
(Phi Gamma Delta fraternity song)
Chip Chapman, ’82