Lorry Michael Hardt ("Mike") was born on September 22, 1942, the son of Lawrence H. and Lillian S. Hardt of Olympia, Washington. He received a bachelor's degree in sociology from St. Martin's College in 1964, and attended Naval Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1965. Hardt was commissioned an ensign in the United States Naval Reserve in May 1965, served with Carrier Division Nine in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1966, served on the USS Stribling in 1967, and was stationed in Saigon, Vietnam, in 1971. After the war, he commanded the Patrol Combatant Missile Hydrofoil Squadron and the USS Joseph Hewes ; he was also executive officer of the USS New Jersey and commander of Destroyer Squadron 26. Hardt married Dale Watson Weeks (February 14, 1945-May 16, 2001) in 1967, and they had two children: Graham and Michael Hardt III. Weeks attended Georgia Southern University and San Diego State University. A painter, she later taught art for the public school district in Norfolk, Virginia. L. Michael Hardt died on August 30, 1996, and Dale Weeks Hardt died on May 16, 2001. They are buried in Arlington National Cemetery.