My name is Kelly Hays Jr, and currently blessed with the privilege to serve as SOTC Secretary. I was born in Fremont CA, moved to Modesto CA, at a fairly young age and had a normal childhood for the most part going to school and playing little league baseball, my parents both were working in the Bay Area and commuting, so a lot of afterhours were spent just with my siblings and grandfather. There was a shift that took place as I was in middle school and we moved as family to Texas, this was due to my parents trying to get away from situations locally that were challenging their marriage and so this took us to Texas and even though a new environment and states away, things did not unfortunately get better and they ended up parting ways, they were on and off for many years, and as a result caused us to move back and forth from CA to TX multiple times in just a couple years. When I started Jr High School we were back in Modesto and by this time, I was living primarily with my mother and my siblings. My Dad was not around for most of Jr High and High School as the tension was too much and was easier to be away, not just for him but most all involved. My Mom worked as much as she could to take care of the family and this resulted in a lot of free time for me to be alone after school and well, that lead to me growing up real fast, I won’t share all of the things that took place in Jr High and High School as to not glorify all the negative things (and there was a lot of them), I was living fast though and spent a lot on my teens hanging around grown men and partaking in the activities they were doing, a lot of house parties, drinking and other things at the time. I grew up catholic and was actually an altar boy when I was young, but the family was not truly involved in church or serving the Lord. If anything, went to Church Sunday confessed and repeated everything the following week. I met my wife in high school, and she had been involved in church growing up, and we really started to spend a lot of time together and eventually leading to us having our first child when were just leaving High School. When this happened, it was a real pivotal moment for me and I knew I had to get away from all the negative things, nightclubs and partying I had been doing. As it was so real that he was vulnerable and could not be around those things, and I knew if our family had any chance, we had to step away from all the bad influences and start over. This is what we did for the most part, I was working and always worked to support my family, I was still going out and would keep the previous lifestyle at arm’s length, making it easy to go out when I wanted too. And honestly was still having a few beers in the evenings, daily and going out occasionally, I did this until the time we had our second child. The day our daughter was born my best friend was shot and killed at a after party following a night out, I remember walking out of labor and delivery and the emergency room across the way was filled with what seemed like hundreds of people as it was a double homicide that took place that night. That is when I knew I had to pull away from everything and could not be halfway in, so pulled back from going out and drinking and all the other negative things. After this time we soon had our first home, living with two kids (not married) and working, coming home every day, and still having a few beers in the evening as part of a normal day, then came to town Heavens Gates & Hells Flames, anyone from Modesto knows about this drama, at the end of the event, there was an alter call and it was then that my wife looked at me and said this has to be it, I was already being pulled on the inside and she gave me the final push, I went down and gave my life to the Lord. We would go to church on special occasions, and eventually we started to attend on a more regular basis, I was always running late on purpose, to miss worship and to make sure that the balcony was open when we got there. I was still not comfortable with the whole church environment. Until, one day my wife came to me and was convicted, about us living together not married with children, for a while I tried to avoid this, until we ended up separated under one roof. We decided to get married and ultimately had our third child, since then, we have built so many strong relationships and have been able to share what we have gone through with others. I do think the only reason we were able to change course was because the previous generations before us had planted the seeds for us and prayed for us along the way. Had my wife not been raised in church and knowing that what we were doing was not the right thing, we could have ended up anywhere. Instead, we are a strong family standing on the work of God with family / friends and soldiers there to support us. Through all this I was able to lead my dad to the Lord and he became involved with Soldiers of the Cross & this is how I came to know the ministry and got involved. I am so proud to be able to lock arms with Brothers that are fighting alongside of me and making a difference with those we come across.