Army 1st Lt. Robert W. Collins
Died April 07, 2010 serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom
24, of Tyrone, Ga.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, Fort Stewart, Ga.; died April 7 in Mosul, Iraq, when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device.
(The following was taken from www.thecitizen.com of Apr. 13, 2010) A Tyrone man who gave his all for his country will be laid to rest here Saturday.
Army First Lieutenant Robert Collins, 24, died April 7 in Iraq when his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device near Mosul in northern Iraq, military officials said.
Lt. Collins, a 2004 graduate of Sandy Creek High School and a 2008 graduate of West Point Military Academy, is expected to be flown into Peachtree City’s Falcon Field Airport sometime Thursday. The funeral will be 10 a.m. Saturday at New Hope Baptist Church in Fayetteville.
Citizens are encouraged to participate in Thursday’s procession by lining the route and waving flags to honor Lt. Collins as the motorcade passes by.
Besides Lt. Collins, who was the platoon commander, the roadside explosion also killed the vehicle’s driver, Pfc. William A. Blount, 21, of Petal, Miss., according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Defense.
The incident happened near Tall Abtah, northern Iraq (near Mosul) on April 7. Collins and Blount were both assigned to the 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.
Lt. Collins’ unit was based in Tall Abtah and among its tasks were operations to improve security and the quality of life for the Iraqi people, he wrote on a recent update to his platoon’s Facebook page. The 2nd platoon also helped provide security for the recent national election in Iraq.
In the note, Collins wrote proudly of his soldiers’ accomplishments and expressed thanks for the continuing support from those stateside.
Former Sandy Creek classmate Andre Lecour, in a personal blog post, said Collins “was compassionate and at the same time had a great sense of humor that could not be matched.”
“Robert would always be there for people when they needed help, be it in class, personal life or just to give someone a laugh to make them feel better,” Lecour said. “When I was at my lowest of lows, Robert would be there for support.”
Collins was recalled by one commenter at www.TheCitizen.com as standing out from the crowd as a youth.
“He knew early on the direction he wanted to take and he became an exceptional soldier,” the poster wrote.
Another person called Lt. Collins his “hero in high school” as they got to know each other on the football team.
“I can honestly say that knowing Robert Collins made me a better person. Back then he was just my hero. ... Now Robert is a hero to all of America.”
Lt. Collins is survived by his parents, Lt. Col. (ret.) Burkitt “Deacon” Collins and Lt. Col. (ret.) Sharon L.G. Collins along with Nicole Williams, his childhood sweetheart and girlfriend of eight years among other extended family members. The family’s church is Hopewell United Methodist in Tyrone.
The family will receive friends Friday evening from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Parrott Funeral Home and Crematory in Fairburn, and online condolences may be made at www.parrottfuneralhome.com.
There will be an opportunity for citizens to honor Lt. Collins during the procession following the funeral. The procession will leave New Hope Baptist Church in Fayetteville on New Hope Road; south on Ga. Highway 85 through Fayetteville; and west on Ga. Highway 54 west through Peachtree City. Once in Coweta County the procession will continue on Ga. Highway 34, then the Hwy. 34 bypass to the gravesite on Roscoe Road.
Lt. Collins will be escorted at all processions by motorcycles from the Patriot Guard of Georgia, a group dedicated to honoring fallen American heroes.
The family is asking donations in Lt. Collins’ memory to be made to the 1LT Robert Wilson Collins Patriot Spirit Scholarship, c/o Bank of Georgia, 100 Westpark Drive, Peachtree City, Ga. 30269.