Wednesday, September 05, 2007

James Collins laid to rest

The shots rang out, 21 of them, saluting a soldier. Then, a trumpeter played “Taps” as American flags fluttered and flapped in the breeze

Sgt. James S. Collins Jr., 35, was laid to rest this afternoon at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Southfield. He died Aug. 28 in Kirkuk, Iraq.

More than 100 mourners attended services for Collins, who was from Jackson. Friends and family declined to speak. A memorial service for Collins was held prior to the burial at A.J. Desmond & Sons funeral home in Troy.

According to an obituary published on the funeral home’s Web site, Collins graduated from Southfield Lathrup High School in 1990. He played football and ran track before getting his degree in criminal justice from Lake Superior State University. He had served in the U.S. Marines for four years before enlisting with the Army Reserves. He had long loved the military. When he was young, he’d read and re-read a book on D-Day, according to the obituary.

His hobbies included hunting, waterskiing, hiking and watching the Detroit Red Wings, and he had a Labrador retriever, Sadie, according to the obituary.

Maj. Annmarie Daneker, spokeswoman for the Army Reserve 88th Regional Readiness Command, said Collins was a full-time Army Reserve soldier.

Daneker said she didn’t know any details about Collins’ death but said he died of wounds suffered during combat operations. He was assigned to the 303rd Military Police Company, U.S. Army Reserve based in Jackson and had been in Iraq since September 2006. His unit conducted security operations and was expected to return home in November or December, Daneker said.

He joined the 303rd in December 2005.

During the service today, Collins’ flag-draped coffin was carried by six soldiers. Prayers were said and scriptures read and the final roll call was performed, where members of the funeral honors team respond to their names and then the deceased name is read twice — meaning he is missing or killed.

The flag was folded and presented to his wife, Amy. Another flag was given to his son Dawson, 8. Both flags, Daneker said, had three M-16 bullets inside to represent duty, honor and country.

In addition to his wife and son, Collins is survived by his parents, a sister and a grandmother.

From the Detroit Free Press

Related Link:
James S. Collins Jr. dies 'of wounds suffered during combat operations'