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Sgt. First Class Gary Collins killed by bomb after 2 months in Iraq. Army Sergeant First Class Gary L. Collins was buried Tuesday at Arlington National Cemetery alongside other fallen soldiers from the Iraq war, with a small Texas flag resting on his coffin.
Collins, 32, was laid to rest with military honors amid row after neat row of America's war dead on a cold, clear afternoon. Assigned to the Army's 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, Collins died Nov. 8 in the Iraqi city of Fallujah when his Bradley Fighting Vehicle struck what Army officials call an "improvised explosive device." Based at Fort Riley, Kansas, Collins had left for Iraq on September 5, 2003.
Collins was posthumously both promoted to sergeant first class and awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.. As a hearse carrying Collins' casket arrived, a U.S. Army firing party snapped to attention nearby and a six-man Army team carried the flag-draped coffin to the gravesite.
It's Official! After a long and emotionally charged "almost 12 yrs" later, hometown HERO, SFC Gary Lamar Collins - Chambers County, TX (KIA), has been Recognized & Proclaimed by the state he loved so much, TEXAS! Texas State Representative, Wayne Faircloth, delivers what most had hoped for and waited a long time to receive. Rep Faircloth presented the widow and two daughters, the Proclamation and a TEXAS FLAG FLOWN OVER THE CAPITOL ON MAY 25, 2015 in honor of SFC Collins. It is rare that the 'fallen' would receive anything other the nation's flag, but these were very different circumstances. Congressman Babin, thank you for sending the gift, noting for the "mother." Saying thank you to the comrades of SFC Collins. You all are a gift. You all are irreplaceable, and family. Lone Survivor Foundation - your support was unwavering. Patriot Guard Riders, what comfort shown. Madey Pipkin (Region V Rodeo Queen) and the fallen's cousin, Weston Devillier for leading the cowboy's "riderless horse caisson." Thank you so much Bobby Vincent ( TX Military Honors Team). Josey Johnson III - you melted us with your Taps! Thank you to the American Legion #225. Civil Air Patrol and the Veteran's Women's Auxiliary (Pam), and so many others. God bless you all. God bless the U.S.A.!!