“He wanted to be a general officer, and he had what it would take to be a general.”
Three Generations of Service
Service to community and country runs deep in the Collins family
One of Lt. Richard W. Collins III’s grandfathers was a New York City police officer and the other served in the U.S. Army, seeing action in combat during the Korean War. Richard W Collins Jr., his father, served in the Navy during the Vietnam War, while his mother, Dawn Collins, served her country as a Navy spouse. From an early age Lt. Collins knew he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfathers – he even slept under an American flag that was hung over his bed growing up.
Two lives cut short by acts of hate and racism
Upon completion of Bowie State’s Army ROTC program Lt. Collins was slated to be a Military Intelligence officer and headed for duty in South Korea. Seeing their beloved son newly-commissioned as a second lieutenant made Dawn and Rick swell with pride, but all too soon this pride turned to grief when Richard was murdered in a senseless act of hate just days later. This was sadly the second time hate and racism had stolen a member of the Collins’ family. Shortly after his return from the Korean War, Lt. Collins’ grandfather was murdered by a white man motivated by blind hatred. Richard W. Collins Sr. had survived a foreign war, but did not survive the scourge of racism here at home.
Determined to continue to serve their country despite it all
The Collins family is but one of many families that have been willing to sacrifice for the country they love – a country that hasn’t always loved them back. And, despite the tragic loss of their son, Dawn and Rick remain committed to this country and to ensuring that Lt. Collins’ legacy is still one of service to the country through the work of this Foundation bearing his name.