Hay is a retired non-commissioned officer in the U.S. Army who served 27 1/2 years, including four campaigns in Vietnam, and has worked for civilian contractors during operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom. In the Army, he earned the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Cross with palm, three National Professional Development Ribbons, five Good Conduct Medals, the TNGVR/TNGSR, and five overseas bars. His son and son-in-law are both career military, and his daughter and daughter-in-law have both served in the Army. His son-in-law is currently serving in Afghanistan, and his son has served there in the past. Hay's father was a veteran of World War II.
Hay is a graduate of Shelbyville Central High School and attended Austin Peay State University in Clarksville.
He holds a Tennessee real estate license, now in retirement status, and a commercial driver's licence 3 with hazmat, tanker, double and triple endorsements. He also holds a weapons carry permit.
Hay attended the Tea Party gathering in Washington and said he believes there were well over 1 million in attendance.
"When elected to be your congressman," said Hay, "I promise to be open, honest and true to my word. I will not sell my soul and your trust for a ride on Air Force One or an underhanded deal so a party or party leader can be on an ego trip."
He promised to uphold the Constitution, protect Christian values, support the nation of Israel, fight for veterans' rights and benefits, preserve Social Security and benefits for senior citizens, oppose amnesty for illegal aliens and enforce immigration laws, reduce government and support small business growth, support pro-life groups, oppose gay rights activists.
He said voters "want health care reform, not a corrupt bill being passed with behind-the-door deals and sweetheart transactions to change one's ideas or beliefs."