Patriotic Cowetans will be gathering at the entrance to Forest Lawn Memorial Park this morning to show honor to fallen soldier Robert W. Collins.
Local veterans, led by Dick Stender, have organized the 11 a.m. gathering of people with flags at the Roscoe Road cemetery. The funeral for Collins, who was killed in Iraq on April 7, will be held at 10 a.m. at New Hope Baptist Church -- North Campus on New Hope Road in Fayetteville.
After the funeral, the procession will move south on Georgia Highway 85 through Fayetteville, then west on Georgia Highway 54 through Peachtree City. In Coweta County, the cortege will move along Highway 34 to the bypass and then to Roscoe Road and Forest Lawn.
Collins, who is from Tyrone, was killed in Mosul when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. The first lieutenant was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team from Ft. Stewart, near Savannah.
Collins graduated from Sandy Creek High School in Fayette County in 2004 and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., in 2008.
His family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the First Lt. Robert Wilson Collins Patriot Spirit Scholarship, c/o Bank of Georgia, 100 Westpark Drive, Peachtree City, GA 30269.