CRYSTAL LAKE, IL, USA U.S. Marines LCPL, F CO, 2D BN, 4TH MAR, 1ST MARDIV, CAMP PENDLETON, CA AL ANBAR PROVINCE, IRAQ 08/08/2004
The LCPL Jonathan Collins Memorial Fund and Foundation was started to keep Jon’s memory and the memory of his sacrifice alive. Its mission is to support causes and organizations which reflect Jonathan’s character, commitment and compassion. We strive to do this through increasing awareness, inspiring patriotism and raising funds in the hope of helping to sustain these causes and organizations in their existence and financial needs. We are committed to remembering Jonathan’s courageous service and ultimate sacrifice by honoring his giving spirit. The LCPL Jonathan W. Collins Memorial Fund is a 501 C (3) Non-Profit Organization established in 2005.
As a subset of the Foundation’s mission, A Message from the Heart’sSM mission is to support Jonathan’s fellow service men and women, as well as their families, in times of deployment. The LCPL Jonathan Collins Foundation raises funds to provide children of deploying Marines and military personnel the opportunity to create their own Build-A-Bear “A Message from the HeartSM Comfort Bear. The bear contains a voice chip with a personally recorded message from the deploying parent. These comfort bears allow the deploying parent to leave a message, from their heart, to their child, that the child can listen to on their time, and on their terms, whenever they need to hear their parent’s voice.
On Monday, August 9th, 2010 four board members from the Memorial Fund flew out to Camp Pendleton, CA to record voice messages from members of the 1st Marine Regiment and 1st Intel Battalion. These Marines will spend 1 year in Afghanistan. For many of them and their families, this is one of many deployments. The Marines know how hard it is for their families when they are separated under these circumstances. They were very grateful to be able to provide this message to their children and to know their children will have this bear to comfort them in their absence. As one Marine stated, “I like that my children can listen to my voice on their time, not when I am able to get to a phone or computer, but anytime they feel the need to hear my voice.”
On September 9th, 2009, Crystal Lake South High School dedicated a new soccer field in honor of 2003 graduate, LCPL Jonathan Collins. The LCPL Jonathan Collins Memorial Fund donated $100,000 to provide a field for the soccer team Jonathan so loved. He played all 4 years and started as goalie his senior year. The ceremony began with a presentation of the American flag and the playing of our national anthem by a member of the CLS High School Marching Band. The Memorial Fund provided both the home and opposing teams with a Challenge Coin made especially for this occasion. Challenge Coins have a long military history and important significance in marking any special event. The soccer team completed the day with a win over the opposing Belvedere team.
Lance Corporal Collins, 19, of Crystal Lake, Illinois died on August 8, 2004, due to enemy action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California.