Fayette honors Lt. Robert Collins

Sandy Creek students paid their respects to 2004 graduate Army Lt. Robert Collins, who died in an explosion in northern Iraq April 7.

Procession route lined with those thankful for his service

Fayette folks turned out in droves Thursday afternoon — lining the highways with colorful flags and mournful hearts — welcoming home Army Lt. Robert Collins.

Click here for our galley of today's procession: Fayette welcomes home Lt. Robert Collins

Factory workers, schoolchildren and retired veterans among them, they showed their appreciation for Collins’ service to his country.

Many displayed American flags of all sizes. Some shared their sentiments with homemade signs:
• “Thank You Lt. Collins”
• “You Are Our Hero”
• “Thank You and Goodbye to our Fallen Hero, Lt. Robert Collins.”

Collins, a 2004 graduate of Sandy Creek High School, was killed April 7 in an explosion created by an improvised explosive device while he was traveling in northern Iraq.

Local schools allowed children outside to pay their respects as the procession drove through Peachtree City and Tyrone.

A handful of Lt. Collins’ former Sandy Creek classmates came to Falcon Field to welcome home Collins as he landed. Each remembered the lieutenant as being incredibly humorous.

They shared goofy stories about Collins, because they knew he always appreciated a good laugh. There was his propensity to crack wise during the morning announcements. And he used to wear sweatbands on his head around school all day long.

“He wouldn’t mind us telling you: he was always extremely sweaty,” said one of the girls. The others laughed, knowing Collins would have too.

“You could also catch him serenading you from ‘West Side Story,’” recalled another classmate.

Everything Collins did as a student, the girls said, was geared toward his dream of attending West Point — where he graduated in 2008 — and joining the Army.

Classmate Ashley Cudsik said Collins “loved what he did” in the Army.

“That’s definitely one thing I take away from this: even though he died, he died doing what he loved doing.”

Also at Falcon Field was a large contingent of citizens including members of Lt. Collins’ American Legion Post in Fayetteville. Other retired veterans were on hand, a few in uniform.

A cavalcade of Fayette’s law enforcement community, joined by the Georgia Patriot Guard motorcycle club, led the way for Collins’ procession.
Schools on the procession route allowing students to participate included St. Paul Lutheran, Crabapple Lane, Tyrone and Burch elementary schools, Flat Rock Middle and Sandy Creek High.

As Lt. Collins drove by Sandy Creek, he was greeted with a crisp salute from the school’s Air Force Junior ROTC. Several women displayed Sandy Creek football jerseys emblazoned with the number 45 he wore for them.

The procession also passed Collins’ home church, Hopewell United Methodist.

In the church lawn was a poignant sign with a portrait of Lt. Collins in full battle regalia. It read:

“So long, farewell, see you later lieutenant. Your Hopewell UMC family.”

Collins was 24 and left behind his parents, Deacon and Sharon, and childhood sweetheart Nicole Williams, whom he planned to marry.

The funeral service for Lt. Collins is Saturday at 10 a.m. at New Hope Baptist Church in Fayetteville. The family will receive friends Friday night at Parrott Funeral Home in Fairburn from 5 to 8 p.m.

A memorial scholarship in Collins’ honor has been established. The family is asking in lieu of flowers for donations to be made to the 1LT Robert Wilson Collins Patriot Spirit Scholarship, c/o Bank of Georgia, 100 Westpark Drive, Peachtree City, Ga. 30269.

bob95fxdl
bob95fxdl's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/28/2007
Pumpkin's Comments

I'm not sure what Pumpkin was referring to. I looked at all the photos in both articles about the honors provided to 1LT Collins. I didn't see anything that showed any display of disrespect or intent to dishonor.

Be that as it may, if there are comments to be made about anyone, they should be made about those who consider the processions for a fallen soldier to be "inconvenient." Fortunately, from what I've seen in the past, Fayette County is the exception to this. In just about every case over the years since we were attacked, our community goes out of their way to ensure that honors are provided to our brave fallen warriors.

As both a 36-year veteran of the US military and a long-time member of the Patriot Guard Riders, providing escort and honor to our nation's finest, I thank the citizens of Fayette County for taking their time to offer respect and honors to 1LT Collins. I myself have two sons serving with the Army and pray that nothing ever happens to them, but know that if something did happen, Fayette County would honor them as well.

To those who could have, but didn't bother to take the time to stand at the street to honor this young man, you should be ashamed of yourself and you dishonor the sacrifice this man made on your behalf, regardless of your politics.

Mark Buckner
Mark Buckner's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/05/2009
Soldier

The soldier is the Army. No army is better than it's soldiers. The soldier is also a citizen. In fact, the highest obligation and priveledge of citizenship is that of bearing arms for one's country. Hence it is a proud priveledge to be a soldier - a good soldier. Anyone, in any walk of life, who is content with mediocrity is untrue to himself and and to American tradition. To be a good soldier a man must have discipline, self-respect, pride in his unit and in his country, a high sense of duty and obligation to his comrades and to his superiors, and self-confidence born of demonstrated ability.
Gen. George S. Patton, Jr. from "War As I Knew It"

I wonder if Lt. Collins had ever read these words because he embodied them. Thank you Lieutenant for you service, courage and sacrifice. May God be with and comfort your family, friends and comrades. Let us not forget who our real heroes are.

oak tree
oak tree's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/26/2007
1Lt Robert Collins

Does anyone know if demonstrators from Westboro 'Baptist Church' in Topeka, KS were at Lt. Collins funeral at New Hope Baptist Church in Fayetteville?

Skyrider
Skyrider's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/28/2008
1 LT Robert W. Colins

Thank God, none were seen. Thanks for the "protection" by the Patriot Guard Riders. They were awesome.... as were so many of the citizens of Fayette County along with our neighbors in Coweta. As we left the Church yesterday and made our way to the cemetary, your support for this family and community will not be forgotten. Thank you to all who came out!

Spear Road Guy
Spear Road Guy's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/21/2006
Great Job By The Community

It makes your heart swell with pride knowing so many came out to pay their respect. Thanks to everyone!

football
football's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/11/2009
1st Lt. Robert Collins

I am writing this as a wife, mother, daughter, sister and United States citizen. A United States citizen who is afforded the opportunity to voice my concerns without censorship when I feel the need to vent; A United States citizen that can obtain an education, if I chose, to better equip myself to care for my family regardless of my gender; A United States citizen who has the right to vote in an election so that my governance is a choice, not a predetermined dictatorship; A United States citizen who can put her family to bed at night without fear or angst of being uprooted and evicted due to an ethnic cleansing.

Such privileges’ are not bestowed upon me because of any procurement of my own but by those that have chosen to answer the calling of servitude of their fellow man.
Service men and women that have chosen the occupation and that have committed themselves to ensuring that we are and will remain a nation of freedom. We as a society, all too often, take for granted the rights’ that we have forgetting that these rights’ must be maintained and that all people deserve a chance under a democratic government here or abroad.

My husband had the distinct honor to have taught and coached 1st Lt. Robert Collins while in high school at Sandy Creek and commented that Lt. Collins told him after 911 of his plans to attend West Point and join the Army, to which my husband responded with the fact that it was an admirable decision but that it carried a huge amount of responsibility and possible sacrifice. My husband point blank asked Lt. Collins if he was prepared to make such a monumental decision as a sophomore in high school. Lt. Collins response was “coach I am ready and prepared.”

The American way of life is a privilege that is enjoyed by us as United States citizens and by those that chose to leave their country for ours, because of the sacrifice of those such as 1st Lt. Collins and others before who took a stand choosing to champion the cause.

Thank you Deacon, Sharon and Nicolle for sharing your loved one with us as a member of the Sandy Creek family and as a member of the United States Army; thank you 1st Lt. Robert Collins for your dedication, your bravery and your sacrifice . Now, sweet boy, go rest in the arms of Jesus and abide in his love, love that is so great that is it incomprehensible.

“Greater love has no one than this that one lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

Respectfully,

Jo H Garvin
Once a Patriot always a Patriot!!!

pumpkin
pumpkin's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/19/2009
HEROS

I am thankful. Many young people get educations, careers from serving. Some trouble helluns serve because instead of going to jail for their criminal behavior they are given a choice serve your time in jail or the service, fortunately sometimes it helps them and turns them around.
Just look at this picture included with this article the youth that have no regard for at least expressing their respect. What kind of parents do these kids have, what kind of attitudes. Look at that rebellion, that almost hate in the faces that do not show that repect with a hand on the heart. I say to you get out of that line, get off the street take your disregard and hate somewhere else.

gatechfootball1
gatechfootball1's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/13/2009
your kidding right?
pumpkin wrote:

I am thankful. Many young people get educations, careers from serving. Some trouble helluns serve because instead of going to jail for their criminal behavior they are given a choice serve your time in jail or the service, fortunately sometimes it helps them and turns them around.
Just look at this picture included with this article the youth that have no regard for at least expressing their respect. What kind of parents do these kids have, what kind of attitudes. Look at that rebellion, that almost hate in the faces that do not show that repect with a hand on the heart. I say to you get out of that line, get off the street take your disregard and hate somewhere else.

What is wrong with you these kids came out to pay their respect same as everyone else and what does "trouble helluns" have to do with anything in this story? Are you insane or do you just hate all children I see no looks of rebellion or hate on any ones face how can you make that assumption? Anyway enough of that Thank you to Lt Collins and all of our armed forces for everything they do for us you all are true American Heroes!!!

pumpkin
pumpkin's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/19/2009
HEROS

I am thankful. Many young people get educations, careers from serving. Some trouble helluns serve because instead of going to jail for their criminal behavior they are given a choice serve your time in jail or the service, fortunately sometimes it helps them and turns them around.
Just look at this picture included with this article the youth that have no regard for at least expressing their respect. What kind of parents do these kids have, what kind of attitudes. Look at that rebellion, that almost hate in the faces that do not show that repect with a hand on the heart. I say to you get out of that line, get off the street take your disregard and hate somewhere else.

grassroots
grassroots's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/17/2009
I'm so sorry.

Devils & Dust Lyrics
Artist(Band):Bruce Springsteen

I got my finger on the trigger
But I don't know who to trust
When I look into your eyes
There's just devils and dust
We're a long, long way from home, Bobbie
Home's a long, long way from us
I feel a dirty wind blowing
Devils and dust

I got God on my side
And I'm just trying to survive
What if what you do to survive
Kills the things you love
Fear's a powerful thing, baby
It can turn your heart black you can trust
It'll take your God filled soul
And fill it with devils and dust

Well I dreamed of you last night
In a field of blood and stone
The blood began to dry
The smell began to rise
Well I dreamed of you last night, Bobbie
In a field of mud and bone
Your blood began to dry
And the smell began to rise

We've got God on our side
We're just trying to survive
What if what you do to survive
Kills the things you love
Fear's a powerful thing, baby
It'll turn your heart black you can trust
It'll take your God filled soul
Fill it with devils and dust
It'll take your God filled soul
Fill it with devils and dust

[Harmonica solo]

Now every woman and every man
They wanna take a righteous stand
Find the love that God wills
And the faith that He commands
I've got my finger on the trigger
And tonight faith just ain't enough
When I look inside my heart
There's just devils and dust

Well I've got God on my side
And I'm just trying to survive
What if what you do to survive
Kills the things you love
Fear's a dangerous thing
It can turn your heart black you can trust
It'll take your God filled soul
Fill it with devils and dust
Yeah it'll take your God filled soul
Fill it with devils and dust

suggarfoot
suggarfoot's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/10/2007
Lt Collins

I remember reading in the citizen when he got his scholarship. He was a great kid...we need to end this war...what a crime.

inkslinger
inkslinger's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/20/2007
WE need to end this war?????

WE??? The US of A???? The country that was attacked on 9/11 and more than 3,000 of our citizens were slaughtered here at home???? Tell me, what does it take, in your midget of a mind, to JUSTIFY going to war?????

The irony of your mindless comment is that heroes such as Lt. Collins and his parents protect YOUR right to say such idiotic things. And for you to do it on the day he comes home in a casket on a blog in his hometown is reprehensible. You make me want to vomit. And I pray to God his family doesn't see your post.

suggarfoot
suggarfoot's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/10/2007
PTCgoil you are off your chain

There was nothing disrespectful about saying he was a good kid and that it was a waste. It was.

I stood while he passed by. Everyone showed their respects are grateful, but not all feel it was necessary for his life to be taken.

It shouldn't make you "puke" that others think he gave too much for too little.

For years this country has had 'politically correct wars' hence a lot of backlash against our government. I knew the guys that didn't come home, or came home mangled from Viet Nam. I saw too great a sacrifice for misguided and monetary gains of a few. It didn't mean I didn't love or respect my friends. Maybe I loved them too much to ever say a politically correct war is right for our boys.
Let them go fight with all their hearts for what they believe in, but don't tie their hands behind their back. It you don't like that, go screw yourself. You made this policial, not me.

S. Lindsey
S. Lindsey's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/2008
Wow.. Not making it political..??

Your whole post was political and that last line..

"go screw yourself. " Nice putting that here.. CLASSLESS

S. Lindsey
S. Lindsey's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/2008
Only you would take a sacrifice and make it political

That's the real crime.. Shame on you..

That was no better then the ones from Westboro Church.

Wildcat32
Wildcat32's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/15/2010
Geez!

You need to calm down, S. Lindsey. You are overreacting and this isn't the place. Although I do, a lot of people in our country don't agree with this war. That doesn't make them evil and it definitely doesn't warrant the Westboro Church comparison. I think you need to step away from the computer and find something to do to calm your nerves. There isn't anyone posting a comment on here who doesn't seem to be broken hearted for Lt. Collins and his family.

S. Lindsey
S. Lindsey's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/2008
Wildcat

Thanks for your opinion.

I disagree. Sugarfoot clearly made it a political statement..

But then again I would not expect anything less of her.

I guess that whole "Go screw yourself" flew right over your head didn't?

btw.. I was very calm when I said it and do so again now.. but thanks for the advise.

Recent Comments