VERNON, TX, USA U.S. Army CPL, COMPANY C, 1ST BATTALION, 501ST INFANTRY, FORT RICHARDSON, AK HAMIYAH, IRAQ 05/18/2007
Army Corporal Ryan D. Collins wore his Velcro-backed name tag upside so that if God called him, He could easily see and get the right Collins. He had been promoted to the rank of corporal May 1, 2007 but his family only learned of the promotion later.
Corporal Ryan Collins assigned to the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, Fort Richardson, Alaska; died May 18, 2007in Hamiyah, Iraq, of wounds sustained when his unit came in contact with enemy forces using small-arms fire. His unit was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
A 20-year-old soldier from the small North Texas town of Vernon has been killed in Iraq, the Department of Defense said Tuesday.
Ryan was twenty years old. He grew up in Vernon, Texas and graduated from high school there in 2004. Ryan worked in his stepfather’s cabinet shop for about a year before joining the military. His family knew he wanted to make a difference and had said that he wanted to make a career in the military. He loved children and he loved what he was doing.
Ryan had been set to come home on leave around the second weekend in May, but he let another soldier who had a newborn take that leave instead. Collins was then set to come home on leave around Memorial Day weekend.
Ryan liked to play basketball, baseball and rollerblading. He also liked to shoot his pellet gun and loved to listen to all kinds of music. He was close with his brother and enjoyed his family which also included two half-brothers. People who knew Ryan Collins characterized him as a loving, giving young man.
Several hundred local and area residents displaying American flags lined Wilbarger Street, and several hundred others, including members of the Patriot Guard Riders, were waiting at the cemetery, lining the pathway to Collins’ final resting place. Members of the Texas Youth Commission presented the family with plaques honoring their son
Jay Hanley, minister of the Wilbarger St. Church of Christ, said, “Yesterday the nation honored those who had died for our country and today we are paying respect to one of our own, a very special young man.”
Ryan Daniel Collins was the son of Danita and David Logsdon of Vernon and Lynn Collins of Flower Mound, Texas. Logsdon said “he is our son, now and forever, he is our son.”